These days, it is not the expected that inspires me. No perfectly rusted pail, no certain shade of lavender, no sunset on the sea will do it for me. What inspires me now are people. People who possess the unexpected and laudable qualities of self respect. The ones who have slogged out their anguish in personal trenches and arrived at respect. The ones who have arrived late-but-not-too-late to the treasures of honor. The ones who had the glorious fortune to be taught early in life the value of esteem. It is these people, the possessors of self respect, however it alighted in their souls, that send my heart blazing and forging ahead.
For the world will be saved by people who choose respect. There is no end to war or siege of the environment, there is no common courtesy on roadways or subways, if the people at war or riding along loathe themselves even mildly. To dishonor the self leads, as only it can, to dishonoring the world at large. The world at large is not so large; it is our closet relations, our towns and our schools, our pets abandoned on the streets. No respect within means no respect without. A little respect within means only a little respect without. And the world continues to spin in chaos.
It is self respect and the out loud examples of such that sets my soul to rise. It is the people who know when to say no, who know how to give to others without draining themselves, who leave egos behind and offer compassion instead. It is the people who don't need to win because they know they've already won. These are the people who keep me set in my truth. They inspire me. They give me hope. And they compel me to join them in saving the world, one act of respect at a time.