Let’s inspire each other

22 Mar

A month or so ago, a friend sent me a somewhat unusual email. The subject was ‘Let’s inspire each other’.  It had a list of two names – the second name being that of my friend (sender) and the first being that of one of her friends. It requested me to send an inspirational quote/poem/song/verse of my choice to the first person on the list. After doing so, it required that I send the original email to about 20 of my friends in Bcc – after modifying the name list so that my friend’s name (from whom I had received it initially) would occur first while mine would be the second. The idea was that the friends I forwarded this email to would in turn send an inspirational quote to my friend and their friends in turn will send their quotes to me. Well, I did not quite know what to expect, but it did seem like fun and I did as I was told. Here’s a poem that has inspired me. Well, it’s written by Kipling (yes, yes, I know, he did hold terrible racist views, but this poem is good, so I forgive him).

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling
Well, I am not finished yet. Surprisingly, after a week or so, my inbox started filling up with lovely inspirational quotes. A young man (who is a friend of a friend, but I don’t really know whose friend) sent me Invictus (another of my favourites). He said, this is the poem which helped him keep focus while he was preparing for his exams.

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
Then a lady sent me this: “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi
And another this:
“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel
Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you areAll my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the insideIn your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyesLove, I don’t like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and aliveAnd all my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light,
The heat I see in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes

And there were many many more. Even after a month has elapsed, I was pleasantly surprised to find another email in my inbox this morning. It said: “Solutions come to you when you are calm, centred, when you use your intelligence, when you are active and have strong faith in the divine law”.
Let me be honest and say that when I got that email, I hesitated a bit before forwarding it. I hesitated because I did not know what to expect and found it a little weird to send email to someone I did not know. But looking back, I am glad that I overcame my initial reluctance and did as my friend asked me to do. And because I did this, fascinating inspirational quotes, poems and songs pop up in my inbox every other day. It was indeed a good way to start 2014. So what inspires you?
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