I’ve discovered a simple way to liberate the hope I believe each of us are born with, allowing it to run free and set fire to our imaginations.
I made this finding in the library, when I was a young child.
My parents weren’t ideal role models, especially when it came to teaching their children how to work through life’s adversities.
To say they had inadequate or juvenile coping skills would be an understatement of the grandest scale.
I couldn’t run to them for help in problem solving whatever childhood misfortunes I encountered.
That didn’t deter me, in the least.
The Universe left a blessing for me to discover, in my parent’s shortcoming. The blessing was that I needed to figure it out for myself.
At a very young age, I got to see how resourceful I was. And that became one of my greatest strengths.
I was 5 years old when I received my first library card. I still recall how proudly I printed my name at the bottom, proving it was mine.
The day I received that library card unlocked a world of possibility for me. It became another resource for me to expand my investigative, exploratory skills.
As my reading level increased, I asked the librarian for help directing me to books I might enjoy. She took me by the hand and brought me to the biographies and autobiographies.
The librarian took a few books off the shelf and told me the name of the person and a little bit about each story. I nodded my head, ‘No’ each time.
Then she showed me a book about Betsy Ross, the seamstress who sewed the first flag for the United States.
Something inside my chest pounded with excitement. I knew we found a winner.
That was the first biography I ever read. I was 6 years old.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was like the mother ship calling me home.
Reading biographies and autobiographies filled a significant void in my life. They gave me hope.
They helped me uncover how others dealt with hard times, managed the trials and tribulations in their lives and allowed them to go on, fiercely and powerfully, to become notable figures in history, the arts, the sciences, society and culture.
You can find hope here, too.
Whether reading someone’s life story, watching a taped interview or listening to a friend or acquaintance speak of their own life, the following questions swirl through my brain.
- Did the person choose to be pro-active or re-active to their challenge? How did they make that decision? Were they hard-wired that way? If not, how did they find it within themselves, to rise to the occasion?
- Where did they find the faith to confront challenges, rather than turn and run? Fight or flight, baby. When it comes down to it, the reptilian part of our brain kicks in. How did they find the confidence and conviction to stand their ground?
- How did they connect to their spirituality when they felt overwhelmed? What did they do to keep going, when they felt they didn’t have the hope or courage to continue?
There’s a lot of hope and wisdom to be learned from the life stories of others, provided you are open to reaping the experiences and insights they offer.
I can assure you this, it’s certainly less painful.
Is there someone famous, whose life story has inspired you? What Life Lessons did you learn, by reading about or researching their life? Is there someone in your own life, whose life has inspired you? What was it about their life that stirred a spark in you? Please comment using the form, below.
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