Vignettes in Aging – Inspire

Do you agree that one of the most important contributions elders can make to society is to inspire others? Why is it important to inspire others?

It’s important to inspire others because, whether it’s obvious to you or not, elders are looked to as the representation of how life can be either rewarding and abundant or unsatisfying and never fulfilling enough.               

We can inspire others, especially young people, to see the value of living your best life by doing what’s right. We’ll be trusted more if we can honestly share our experiences that helped us get through uncomfortable situations, even if we made a fool of ourselves, or disappointed others, or got into trouble during our lives. We inspire others to not make the same mistakes or, if they do, to know they will survive and live on to inspire others.


Take Brene Brown, for example. Brene is a dynamic speaker who talks about shame and the value of being vulnerable. She is inspiring not just because she’s got the words that make sense. She’s inspiring because she is vulnerable enough to share her own experiences. Much of her sharing points out her failures … where she didn’t get the job, or where she pissed someone off, or where her children were embarrassed for her. She can take a chance, tell her story that doesn’t always show stellar behavior, and still stand before us as someone we admire and who inspires us.

You can inspire by setting the example and by being authentic. More than once have I posted one or two blog posts chronicling the beginning of my weight loss journey only to have to apologize for not continuing because I had failed at that endeavor. It was difficult to admit, but I got lots of feedback from others who felt encouraged because of my willingness to admit defeat, more than once.

So, see, inspiring others IS one of our most important roles in life. Do your best, be your best. Be what others admire and want to be like. And if you stumble and fall or fail, if you risk being vulnerable and it backfires, be sure to share that part of the story too.

How have you inspired someone lately?