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When I became a board member of the Idaho Creative Authors Network (ICAN), I was asked to give a quote that would inspire others. That got me to thinking about two things: have I ever inspired anyone and have I ever said anything inspiring. I’ve always tried to be a good influence on people around me, but have I actually inspired someone? I’m not sure.

On-line definitions of inspire include (1) to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration and (2) to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Using these definitions, inspiration is something that’s occurs inside people. It’s intangible, visible only by their actions which you may or may not be around to see. So how can you tell if you’ve inspired another? I’m not sure, which makes me wonder if I’ve ever made a difference in someone’s life?

I can think of two times when I might have inspired others as a mentor. When I was a literacy tutor, I helped a young woman write a letter for the first time and I helped a man read better. I hope their lives improved with their new skills in reading and writing. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to function in today’s world without those two abilities. I think I made a difference for those two people.

Beyond that, I really can’t remember any time I truly inspired someone. I’m not sure I inspired anyone when I was a teacher, although I taught them that everyone uses math in their jobs on some level. Is that inspiring? I raised two marvelous children who have gone on to inspire many other people. I try to continually inspire them. Maybe that’s my contribution to the world, but that won’t stop me from trying to be an inspiration to whomever I meet.

That explains why I felt so honored to be asked to be a board member of ICAN. Their mission is to help others, to inspire them to follow their dream of writing. I hope to inspire many people through that organization. I will work harder at inspiring and helping people. We should all have the goal of leaving our piece of the world a better place for us having passed through it.

P.S. Visit the ICAN website at

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