Friday, July 30, 2010

Sources of inspiration...

Best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert once gave a talk on the concept and history of "the muse." It was pretty eye-opening for me, and while it didn't inspire me to paint a masterpiece or churn out the Great American Novel, it did make me examine things from a new perspective. Which I suppose is a type of inspiration.

Today's blog examines a couple different sources of inspiration. The first is poverty. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the partnership between Tim Jahnigen, his wife Lisa Tarver and Sting to create One World Futbol after Jahnigen was dismayed by a CNN report on the children of Darfur who played soccer with anything but a real ball since those quickly went flat. One World Futbol produces soccer balls made out of the same stuff as Crocs. For each $39.50 ball sold, another goes to a child in need around the world. The couple's goal is to give out 1 million balls in the next three years.

The other theme is the wisdom of others. London's Daily Mail posted a story on its 10 most inspirational speeches. It, of course, skews heavily toward British politicians, but it does reference the great speeches from Mahatma Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Winston Churchill. You will have to Google for the full text, but the story gives a nice abstract of each one. On a less world-beating note, each year colleges and universities bring in famous, infamous and everyday speakers in one last effort to propel their graduates to greatness. My own university's graduation speaker was more embittering than emboldening, but other schools do better. Harvard, for example. The following link is one speech that manages to be both entertaining and energizing.

(Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail)

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