We all have our special dates, places and memories. As I mentioned previously, September 28 has become my special date, though not in a traditional sort of way. It just has a special meaning for me, and as it turned out today, for more than one reason. It’s a time to reflect on a year and to think about the road ahead. So it’s not a surprise that I’ve spent a fair amount of time today doing that. And just like a year ago, I’ve realized something new.
Have you ever thought about what makes people respect and cherish memory of someone they’ve never met? Someone who’s lived years before they were even born? There are graves in this world that get visitors every day, year after year. There are names, which are remembered with more just admiration for centuries. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m sure most of us have some role models — people we respect immensely, who inspire us, who help us become better versions of ourselves. We never knew them, we never met them, we might have been born after they left this world — and yet their presence in our lives goes far beyond their legacy whatever it might be.
It has just occurred to me today why we feel their presence so strongly. True, their accomplishments matter a great deal, but it is not what makes a “larger than life” person so special. We admire accomplishments while reading theirs book, listening to their music, watching their movies. These accomplishments may inspire our own thoughts, and yet they are not what makes presence of these people so special in our hearts. It’s the way they lived their lives.
After all, they were humans too. Yes, they were talented humans — some of them were talented beyond belief — but it is not what makes countless others cherish their names. They faced their share of problems and challenges — and sometimes these challenges were much greater than those that we face. They had the same time to spend in this world that we do, in fact many of them had way less time than an average life span. And yet they found courage to make a real difference. To get so much done. To push their own limits — which they all had — so far out. They found the courage to live. Not to exist, which in the absence of war, crime and suffering is so easy. But to live. To evolve. To prevail in their own struggles. To transform themselves day after day and to end up the people remembered by generations.
They were not bigger than their own lives. They were just bigger than our lives. And that’s why they keep inspiring us. We have our own battles to fight and our own limits to push. But to do that we need to find the same courage to live they had found. For there’s no better inspiration than someone’s Life.