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8 Things that Don’t Inspire Me

December 29, 2010

In my last post, I asked you to make a list of things that inspire you and things that don’t. Sometimes, you can determine what does inspire you by looking at your list of things that don’t; just figure out its opposite.

Here’s my list of uninspiring things:

1. Apathy

2. Ignorance

3. Fast food

4. Throwing trash out a car window

5. Hateful comments on blogs

6. Talking on a cell phone when someone is waiting on you

7. War

8. Verbal Abuse

Pretty judgmental, I know. Am I guilty of some of these things some of the time? Of course! But that doesn’t mean they’re right. Being aware that you’re doing them is the most important thing.

Awareness is everything!

So, if these are things that don’t inspire me, then maybe I can look to their opposites to see what inspires me. Because then I can choose to do its opposite.

Apathy – Actually caring; loving life; knowing you can make a difference if you put your mind to it; inspiring others.

Ignorance – I should have said “making pronouncements about things for which you are ignorant,” because everyone is ignorant about some things. Ignorance is just not knowing and I am ignorant about many things. We can’t expect to know everything, which is why we need to be open to learning something from every encounter. I would hope that if I am ignorant about something, I would say that I am and try to learn more before I speak or speak in a manner that invites learning.

Openness is everything.

Fast food – Personally, I try to avoid fast food as much as possible. I know that if you have little disposable income, fast food may be your only choice (or is it?) With the exception of a very few items, fast food does nothing for me, health or taste wise. I know what really good food tastes like, and really good food energizes me. Like lunch today, a small squash, halved, filled with nuts and apples, and baked. Yummmm, and probably the same price as a hamburger.

Throwing trash out a car window – The epitome of “it’s only about me” non-thinking. There are probably trash cans where you’re headed to, and maybe even recycling bins. Patience, people.

Hateful comments on blogs – This one really drives me crazy. A way to get depressed real fast is to read blog comments (on certain sites). Makes you want to stay off the net.

At John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, he gave an award to a woman who had asked President Obama a question at an event. She had some tough questions for him, but she first introduced herself and welcomed him with respect. She asked her tough questions without attacking him, and for the most important part, she actually listened to his answer. What would the world be like if we all wrote comments on blogs or treated people with the same dignity?

See Blog Comments that Inspire.

Talking on cell phones when someone is waiting on you – Showing respect for humanity. To me, this is just dehumanizing to the person waiting on you. Your life and that person’s will be better if you acknowledge each other as human beings. There is no phone call that can’t wait 30 seconds.

Relationships are everything.

War – Well, that’s a no-brainer. The opposite of war, of course, is peace. Like Gandhi said, “Change has to begin with you.” All we can do is look at the war (violence) in our own hearts and work on being a peaceful person. Peaceful people inspire me.

Verbal Abuse – Like the hateful comments on blogs, the power of words can be deadly, almost worse than physical abuse. Verbal abuse is bullying and the opposite of bullying is having compassion, empathy, understanding, really putting yourself in another’s shoes and acting accordingly. Compassionate people inspire me.

Compassion is everything.

What doesn’t inspire you? What is its opposite?

Related Reading

The Everything Series

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2010 1:30 pm

    Hmm, I guess it depends on your definition of ‘inspire’ ::ponders::

    Negative feelings can also be a source of inspiration, perhaps of drive to right wrongs and the like. Or simply a source of emotion that can be channelled productively.

    Apart from the fact that both the people who throw rubbish out of car windows (don’t get me started on cigarettes thrown out of windows in bushfire season ::grumbles and mutters::) and rude mobile phone people inspire homicidal tendencies on my part :D, I have used many a negative situation to inspire art, writing in particular. Some of my best writing has occurred while I was upset about something (also some of my worst, but we won’t go there :D).

    I think, really that anything can be inspiring, from writing a shopping list to standing on a cliff in a storm (one of my favourites :D). For me it is taking the emotion generated and channelling it efficiently into whatever I’m creating. I’m more practised at it with writing (you should see how many fictional characters I’ve thrown into fights when I’m ticked off about something :D) and have yet to try it strongly with visual art.

    As to what doesn’t inspire me…I think my biggest enemy in that department is myself. If I’m not feeling receptive, perhaps depressed, or just simply lazy, I can’t channel the emotion very well and that results in either poor work or none at all.

    ::grin:: Finding myself inspired to write at 3am is always an interesting experiment.

    And, ooh, speaking of inspiration, I’m starting up a Twitter channel you might be interested in –

    Thanks for bringing up this idea, it is an interesting one to think about.

    I know that I’m going to design a T-shirt with the words – ‘I’m an artist, be careful what you inspire’ 😀

    Cos we have the power 😀

    (off the edge, but learning to fly)

    • December 29, 2010 2:35 pm

      “taking the emotion generated and channelling it efficiently” Wow, Nutty, you’ve inspired me with your comments. 🙂 And I’m looking forward to your flying spark tweets!

      After I wrote this, I thought it sounded more like pet peeves than things that don’t inspire me. My definition of inspiration has to do with things that make you feel alive inside, so uninspiring things would be things that are depressing or make you feel dead inside.

      Looking at opposites is kind of a dualistic way of thinking, like one is good and one is bad. But, you are exactly right in that negativity can inspire action, and art is a great example of that. And, you are right in that even things considered drudgery can be transformed into creative or inspiring acts.

      I think the key here is to recognize that we will experience all of these things sometimes, whether in others or ourselves, and the question becomes what do we do with that negative energy or emotion? We always have a choice.

  2. Liz Buckley permalink
    December 29, 2010 10:00 pm

    I agree with Gumnut on how negative feelings can also be a source of inspiration. There are certain people in our lives who we don’t necessarily respect for certain reasons; a parent for example. And, even though they are a part of our lives, their behavior, not nice behavior, can inspire us to be a better person. I guess I never thought of it as inspiration, but if I’ve chosen to rise above what I’ve grown up with then I believe I have been inspired. I have “taken the emotion generated and channelled it efficiently”. And, you are right . . . we always have a choice.

    • December 29, 2010 10:06 pm

      Choosing to do the opposite of what you’ve been shown. Now that’s inspiring! Thanks, Liz.

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