Uplifting Stories: Who inspired you?

As an elementary school kid, I was inspired by the reading I did, lugging home many volumes from the local public library.  I remember after a year or two that I discovered I had read every biography and autobiography shelved in the southeastern corner of the children’s section.  I remember feeling trepidation when asking the librarians for help finding new books in the massive adult section.  I was in 6th grade.

All the reading did me good.  Not only were the life stories inspiring, they helped to shape my moral, religious and intellectual interests.  I can’t say that one or another of those books brought to me more of a sense of destiny than another, but I know that the reading of other’s life stories helped me to prepare to grow up, to understand personal sacrifice, diligence, perseverance and other admirable qualities.  The biographies also helped me to erase the taint of racism, sexism and ethnic prejudice that were part of the society of my home town.  Reading was and is the best way you can see from another’s perspective, to get a feel for traveling in their shoes, to taste their failures and successes.

Having worked now for many years at a university, I see that students who are successful are not just the ones that get a high gpa or accolades, though those are indicators of intellectual ability; it is that  test of character that brings the best out of students, and produces confidence, courage and the personal fiber that makes one strong.

Now normally I would research someone like Helen Keller and give you a snap shot of their remarkable life.  But you can research and read those books yourself.  I’m opening a new page on the blog that will feature  local stories and lesser known heroes, those who have accomplishments, but maybe not monumental in size, but that illustrate how the challenges of life, have been overcome.

Please comment back, about how you have been inspired by others, but send me stories of local heroes, or your own inspiration story, and I will place them on the new page.  Write to osdhornpublisher@gmail.com.


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