Be Inspired!

February 20, 2012
Chelsea Budde





to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: His courage inspired his followers.

to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others.

to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.: to inspire a person with distrust.

to influence or impel: Competition inspired her to greater efforts.

to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future.

What inspires you?  You might answer my question with the question, "To do what?" To get out of bed! To go to work! To do your best at school! To make a new friend!  Inspiration goes beyond motivation.  We might be motivated to get out of bed because we have to ready ourselves for an appointment or obligation.  Our motivation to go to work may come from the promised paycheck.  But inspiration is something else -- something more.  When you look at the etymology of inspire, you get a sense of a breathing in of spirit.  So the life-giving air in your lungs to do well at school might come from an enlightened teacher.  And the breezy spirit of friendship might have blown in your next BFF.

I can tell you unequivocally that I am inspired by my children with autism to do my job tirelessly and with fresh air daily.  I wonder how many neuro-typical people realize how hard my children with differently-wired brains work to do so many things that come effortlessly to them: use and interpret body language, tone of voice, and comedic timing; initiate and maintain social relationships; process and respond appropriately to verbal language.  I could look at them and despair; but instead, I look at them and breathe deeply.

Look at your person with autism today and be inspired to do better -- for him or her and for yourself.  (And if you don't have a person with autism, you won't have to look too hard.  If you know 100 people, you likely are already connected.)

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