Inspiration is often over-rated, and so are autobiographies, I realised today. One is famous today because he/she was an ‘ordinary’ once upon a time. But aren’t we all born ‘ordinary’? There is one thing common to all of us, and that is the reality of being humans. We can find so much to learn from each other, if only we choose to look closely, and sometimes, if we choose to swallow our pride and surrender to our budding enlightenment. Inspiration could be found in a piece of news that was intended for a gossip magazine; in a child’s words because children make us relearn things; in a random act of kindness; in a tale of pain and loss; in an inconspicuous sentence in a newspaper; at times, from an animal or a bird which we so callously neglect; and sometimes, in an imagined world which can NEVER see the light of the day, except in a work of art.
We’re surrounded by people who translate inspiration into wisdom, love and compassion: artists, and visionaries, or a combination of both. We’re used to equating celebrities with artists, and headline-makers with visionaries. But it may not always be true. Most of the time, true artists and true visionaries do not make headlines, because they usually do not have much to say. But they have much to do. They probably spend a lot of time crying before they come up with a musical piece or a book that moves people across the world to tears. They probably spend a lot of time struggling to make people accept them as they are, before spreading the message about the need for open-mindedness. Experience, after all, is the best teacher. Experience is common to all of us, but they are the ones who develop the courage to expose their experiences to the world. After the exposure, they are often considered ‘eccentric’, or ‘fragile’, but the wonderful paradox is: they draw strength from the most fragile moments. They are probably busy doing something out-of-this-world while the world is busy mistyping them. They are the ones who know what it’s like to derive hope from pain. They’re born to soothe the jagged edges of so many people who take pride in the display of the roughness, who do not realise that those very edges cause anguish to themselves and others. The world is not all black, or all white. If gray alights, there are rainbows galore too. They experience the highs and lows, and the rise and the fall of ebbs which remind them continually of their ever-melting cores, akin to a ray of sunshine above a frozen world.