[Story Break] Being an inspiration

My inspirational story

During the blizzard of February 2011, I spent the morning shoveling my own walk and then helping a couple of neighbors with theirs. One of my neighbors is a LARC house—Lansing Association of Retarded Citizens. It’s a group home where four mentally handicapped women live, and a rotating shift of staff people live with them. During the blizzard, I saw the staff lady in her driveway, shoveling, and I brought my shovel over to help her.

During one of our pauses to catch our breath, she told me that LARC does use a snow plow service, and she had been waiting for the truck to come and plow their driveway. But there are eight LARC houses in Lansing, and the weather was still hazardous, so she wasn’t sure when the truck would be able to reach her house.

She told me she had been planning to wait for the truck—but then she saw me shoveling my driveway and sidewalk, just an average woman steadily tackling enormous drifts of snow. And she realized, “I wonder if I can do that too.” So she grabbed a shovel and began working on the driveway herself.

She had about one-third of it cleared by the time I showed up to help, and then we finished the rest together. She was so proud! “If you had told me I could shovel a driveway, I would not have believed you!” she said, surveying her accomplishment. I could almost tangibly feel her self-confidence soaring.

Now, I did not set out that morning to be an inspiration to anyone. And I never would have guessed that shoveling my own sidewalk would be interpreted as a heroic act. To me, it was just a job that needed to be done.

But my neighbor’s reaction made me wonder, maybe that’s what heroes are—just people who do what needs to be done, without making a big deal of it. So maybe everyone can be a hero to someone.

Your inspirational stories

Have you ever done something that was “no big deal” and found out it really had an impact on someone? Or have you ever done something hoping it would have an impact, but you’re not sure it ever did? Tell us about it in the comments below!

By sharing our stories, we can inspire each other. Who knows how many lives we might change through everyday acts of common courtesy!

7 thoughts on “[Story Break] Being an inspiration

  1. Hi there Melanie! What an amazing and powerful story of inspiration. Many years ago, I had the pleasure of encouraging a friend to go into photography. I just felt he had an eye for it and a willingness to learn.
    Currently, he is happily encouraging many with his gift. I never thought anything of it until he shared with me recently that I was an inspiration to him. You are so right Melanie, perhaps everyone can be a hero to someone else. I’ll go one step further and say that not only “can” we, but we must be that hero.
    Great post today!

    • Good to see you, Toni! Thanks for your encouraging comment. Your story is a good example of the power of words in people’s lives. It might not have seemed “life-changing” to you to suggest photography to your friend—and yet that’s exactly what it was! Way to be an inspiration!

  2. It’s easy to forget that we are walking, talking inspirations–especially when we’re doing anything that’s just matter-of-fact. I remember years ago listening to a co-worker share her woes with me. Afterward, I said, “I’ll pray for you Bobbi.” That’s all I said (and yes, I did pray for her). She went home that day…got to thinking about me saying I’d pray for her…thought to herself, “I think I have a Bible around here.” Found it. Read it. Got saved that day!

    Imagine that … Five small words brought great BIG results!!!

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