So roughly seven years ago my big brother Tim had a full blown brain hemorrhage and stroke, and his road to recovery has been not only challenging for him and his family, but ridiculously inspiring as well. When the stroke happened he was already in the midst of recovering from a terrible military accident, which crushed his hip and pelvis, so you can imagine how those closely combined years and experiences must have thrown him for a loop. The thing that you need to know however, is that these events didn’t crush his sprit or send him into a spiraling depression, they somehow triggered a deep strength of character, and tapped into a level of courage and perseverance that has driven him forward. Together these events have unleashed a level of internal fight and sense of purpose that have turned him into a real life super hero for me and for countless others…my brother the super hero, how lucky am I?
Over the years I have often wondered about how he has found a way to keep his spirits up, and how he has managed to find his own inspiration throughout the struggle and throughout his long road to recovery. When we talk about it, he passionately reminds me that there are little bursts of inspiration all around us everywhere, and all the time. We just need to open up our eyes and hearts to recognizing them, and embracing them, and using them to become better versions of ourselves for others. I remember walking on the beach with him a couple of summers ago, and talking about how important it is to use these daily inspirations to find purpose and meaning in our lives, and to use them to give back, and to in turn find ways to become our own inspirations for the people that we meet along the way.
That conversation really resonated with me and called me to action. The thing about life for everyone, and in particular for us in the field of education, is that you really can’t go two hours or so without being inspired by someone or something that can change your day for the better, and push you to be better, and ultimately, inspire you to do better…but here’s the thing, you have to allow it to. Whether it’s students or adults overcoming hardship, or struggling to find their way, or dealing with issues that most of us know nothing about, or even just watching how students and teachers are always inspiring others through a positive action, or a random act of kindness, or a simple day changing comment or smile. There is always a burst of inspiration around every corner if you stop to look and internalize it…but how often do we actually make a point of doing that? Probably not often enough.
Listen, I know that I’m lucky because I have my big brother to inspire me everyday, and I also know that not everyone has a real life super hero in their family, but really, it doesn’t matter. We all have access to some form of daily super hero in the form of friends, colleagues, students, family members, or even random strangers. Super heroes that provide us with little bursts of inspiration that are just waiting to be grabbed, and used, and paid forward so that we can collectively do and be better for our world..and for each other. My challenge to you this week, and over the summer holiday, is to make an effort to open up your eyes and hearts to these inspirations, and find ways to make them help you become a better version of yourself. Life really does get better when we can find ways to see the courage and strength and beauty of others as inspirations, and for fuel for our own personal journeys. Have a wonderful final full week of the school year everyone, and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
CTV News – I Want to Give Back
CTV Listen – Stroke Survivor
Quote of the Week…Life becomes easier and more beautiful when we can see the good in other people-Roy T. Bennett
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