This I Believe

Jenna - Brookline, Massachusetts
Entered on September 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe in inspiration. By inspiration I mean I believe that the words and the actions of others can spark the will to think; the will to think beyond our supposed spectrum and reveal courage in our hearts to act upon our beliefs, regardless of the fear of rejection. Inspiration is what makes us want to be better; it’s what makes us want to take our hopes and our dreams and make them into reality; rather than merely hope. It’s what makes us as individuals, want to become people.

Inspiration can come from anywhere: from an event, a poster, a movie, a book, a painting, or from my personal favorite, a person. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’d take a thousand words from someone who speaks from the heart over a lousy picture any day. And to me, that is where inspiration truly comes from; the heart. People who inspire you are those who can take the emotions and beliefs from their heart and they can lay them right out in front of you, in words. And no matter how hard you try to repeat these words, you can never reiterate the passion that they were derived from. After a while, you may forget what these people said, but you can never forget the feeling they left you with. The feeling in the pit of your stomach, as you’re on the edge of your seat, hanging on to every single word they say, and hoping that maybe someday you’ll have the courage and the ability to put the feelings that you have always been to afraid to admit you have, into words.

In my life, I have had one truly inspirational character. Her name was Missy Traversi, and she was my basketball coach last year. From day 1 I knew that she was going to be a great coach, and a great inspiration. I instantly looked up to her, despite the fact that she was almost half a foot shorter then me. She pushed me in ways I had never been pushed before, she forced me to think and act with confidence. And most of all, she taught me to keep my head up, and to win for my teammates, rather than myself. I wanted to be the best that I could be for her. One day in practice, she pointed out me and one other girl, (a senior, the captain of the varsity team) and announced that we were the only two girls in the program who she had enough confidence in to know that we would run through a brick wall for her. And right then and there, in between leaps and bounds my heart was performing, I knew that all my hard work had paid off. All those times I pushed myself to be the fastest in suicides; all those times I fell hard to the ground in drills; all those times I volunteered myself to do things I never imagined I could’ve done; all those times I took the ball to the hoop just because my coach had pulled me to the side and told me to stop being scared and start playing the way she knew I could; they were all worth it. And I realized that I never could’ve done any of that, if I hadn’t been inspired.

Of course, where there are those who are inspired, there are always those uninspired. But the true sense of accomplishment is not from enlightening everyone, it’s from touching the heart of that one coworker, family member, or teenager; who now knows that they have something to work towards, something to work for.

And for all the lucky ones that have been inspired, it is not only their wish but rather their willing duty to act. If you truly know the feeling of inspiration and your heart has been touched by its power, then you have been left with no choice but to act. You cannot keep yourself from trying to better the world; you cannot keep yourself from wanting to. You now want to life to improve, but no longer for yourself, rather for the greater good of mankind, and for that young child who could someday find inspiration in you.