Inspiration is a funny thing. For me, it starts in my chest and climbs up my throat. It's similar to a caffeine buzz. Sometimes it gives me the sensation that I need to jump. Inspiration and I have a funny relationship because when I really need it, I don't feel like looking for it, and it's nowhere to be found anyway. Inspiration just creeps up on me and makes a sneak attack. Usually, it brings along with it a feeling of happiness and well-being. I don't feel like I need inspiration right now. I'm very happy with where I am. I've had a lovely rest period, I feel refreshed and surrounded by friends and family, though they are spread out around the world. But here I am feeling inspired. And I'm thankful for that. But it's making me move.
Possible Reasons I'm feeling inspired:
About a year ago, I read a book by a woman called 29 Gifts, by Cami Walker . It was inspiring at the time that I read it, but for some reason it's coming back to mind now. I've decided to put my attention on giving something everyday. In Cami's book, she doesn't only give material things, but gifts of the heart as well.
I've been reading bits and pieces of The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, MD. Something that resounded with me is the difference between pleasure and happiness. I often feel happy, but when I think of a happy person, there are a lot of people who come to mind before I would think of myself. Which leads me to my next point...
Competitiveness. On the radio yesterday while I was driving back to Montreal, I heard the term competitive altruism This describes the competition of people to be the biggest giver, to make the biggest difference. The circumstance in which they were discussing this topic was environmentalism. Living green has become a competition. I think the old school yuppies have been reincarnated. I'm not writing this to judge these people. On the contrary, I am writing to say that I fall into this category somewhat.
And possibly lastly, the Kony 2012 campaign. Briefly, if you are not familiar, there is a charity called Invisible Children which is endeavoring to raise awareness of a rebel army leader in Uganda so that he may be captured with the technical assistance of US military advisers. I watched the video. I liked what I saw. I thought it was a good cause. Then the anti- Invisible Children articles started to surface. Some people feel that this particular charity organization is not completely honest or trustworthy. So somehow, my opinion suddenly seemed less valid the more I read. This bothered me to no end. How dare people call me a fool for reacting to my emotions. I thought I was following my heart. And I don't feel duped for having an emotional reaction, I feel human.
What bothered me most about this 'debate' was the feeling that the air just left my sails. I was feeling that great human connection, thinking we could all make a difference together, and then the nay-sayers (whom I am calling neither right nor wrong) voiced their opinions. That's when I got inspired.
I thought to myself, I can rise above this negativity! Just because others are showing more interest in criticizing an organization than finding a way to help, doesn't mean that I have to follow them. Doing something is a whole lot better than doing nothing, and doing nothing is not something.
Tristan taught me the word "Slacktivism". I don't want to be a slacktivist. I want to do something. So I'm going to do stuff.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I'm going to make sure that it is positive. And I'm not doing it for facebook attention. Facebook can be so snobby. And I'm not doing it to bring me pleasure, I'm doing it to be happy. It's ok to be happy. It's a good thing, and it actually makes other people happy.
Today, I wrote a letter to my best friend in another country. It made me happy to think how happy she will be when she gets it.
And here's something to make you smile.