Trust me when I tell you that you need look no further than the mirror if you want to see a hero. You do inspire everyone who really knows you.
Thoreau’s claim that most of us lead lives of quiet desperation rings false to me. Every single person I have taken the time to know has either overcome great odds or achieved fantastic things. Some accomplished both, yet none seemed aware they inspire the people who know them.
I worked with a man who was raising two young daughters on his own. He was articulate, resourceful and witty. He spoke fondly of his kids but joked that as a father he lived with the daily threat of lice and MRSA coming home on the bus with his girls. I worked with him for months before he mentioned that he’d undergone more than ten surgeries for a cleft palate and lip, in the 1960’s, no less. He also needed special education to graduate from school. Looking at his life as a father and worker, I was astonished at how well he’d overcome that much adversity.
I know another man who patiently listens to the problems of others and tells few of them that he survived a broken neck in a car accident. Even when he listens to people talk about wrecks, he doesn’t mention it!
Tell your stories. Let others know what you’ve overcome. You may not think you’ve survived or accomplished much, but I’m sure that you have.