Who inspires you?
Yes, that was a serious question. Throughout my life I can say that there have been few people that inspire me. You may be quick to say that is a lie, but I promise, it isn’t. Why? Because although many people have influenced me, very few have inspired me. Those that have managed to inspire exhibit common characteristics. Let us spend a few minutes diving into those characteristics.
First, they have a desire to change something. It could be that they want to change a country, a community, a corporation, a church, or a child. Regardless of how big or small the group is that they want to change, they have the desire to better the group. They either want to lead this group of people into a better way of life, better profits, or better behavior. The change could also be simply how others perceive the group. Whatever their trait is they want to change, they have identified it and are willing to sacrifice to see it happen.
Second, they have tenacity. It is easy to give up when things take a little longer or you encounter a set-back. Inspirational people do not give up the first, second, or third time they fail. Instead, they continue to get back out there and continue to work towards change. This may be the fourth presentation they have given on a particular organizational change, or the second time they have tried to rally their community behind the idea of a park, or the one hundredth time they have corrected their child for punching another kid in the throat. Regardless of the circumstances that have surrounded them, the most inspirational people in my life have continued to get back out there and make a difference.
Finally, they invite others into their tribe. This looks a little different for each and every person. They may have to invite others into their circle to show the behavior of their children or invite coworkers to champion the cause of realigning the corporate values. Why do they do this? These people recognize that in order to create this change, it is going to take more than one person. Although the idea may come from one person and they may make an impact that lasts, they know that real change occurs when there are many people believing the same thing and working towards the same goal.
Why all of this talk about inspirational people? Because the people who have been influenced by Downs Syndrome and continue to live out their passions and pursue their dreams are an inspiration to me. They and those that are their support system acknowledge the three traits above and are out to change the world.
Tomorrow (July 26th) a new season of Born This Way premiers on A&E Network. This series is all about people who have been born with Downs Syndrome and have decided to confront the challenges society places on them. This show follows these individuals and their families through their daily life to show just how determined and gifted they are.
Don’t forget to tune in or set your DVR for tomorrow evening. Check out the clip of Rachel (one of the cast members) below: