Inspiring quotes from the departed

This year we have lost many wonderful amazing human beings who made this planet a better place- my father being one of those. He was a maths teacher and lived his life the way he wanted to, despite threats and ridicule, helping the poor and disadvantaged. There are many like him, who have died unknown.  Their legacy lies in themselves, while the luckier ones also achieved fame (see the quote from Stan Lee below).  Regardless of whether you achieve fame or not in the end, I think the greatest achievement is to live your life in your own way, using your talents to help others.

Here I have selected some quotes from more famous people to reflect on, and to provide inspiration for the year ahead.  These humans weren’t perfect because no one can be and you may not like them but what they say is an enduring testimony to the power of inspiration. Some quotes will make you even think about fame in a different way. Let me know if any of these appeal to you or if you have other inspiring quotes from people who passed away this year.

“However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary, perhaps until then… even thought impossible.”
– Sir Roger Bannister (UK athlete and neurologist, who broke the human speed record)

“Every guy in the world would love to be Mr Macho, but I am camp and you cannot lie to the public. If you’re yourself, they’ll either love you or they won’t.”
– Dale Winton (UK TV presenter)

“Because you run against each other, that doesn’t mean you’re enemies. Politics doesn’t have to be uncivil and nasty.”
– George HW Bush (past US president)

“Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.”
– John McCain (US senator)

“Every time I go to a comic book convention, at least one fan will ask me: ‘What is the greatest superpower of all?’ I always say that luck is the greatest superpower, because if you have good luck then everything goes your way.”
– Stan Lee (US creator of many superhero comic characters)

“Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I’m happy with that.”
– Aretha Franklin (US singer)

And finally these great words-

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
– Professor Stephen Hawking (UK scientist)

Finding our purpose

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(photo credit: Sumita Sinha)

I have been listening to many inspirational speakers as the grey skies of winter, tiredness and a series of strange incidents try to put a depressing shade to my life.  I have been calm, reflective and quietly bemused.  Listening to the these speakers helped to put things in perspective, find a balance and be inspired.  One of the things I heard from Marianne Williamson (she, whose quote about not hiding yourself is of often attributed to Nelson Mandela) was about life purpose.

I heard this sentence, “If you have life, you have a purpose.”  True and so profound. How often do we think about our failings and compare ourselves to others?  Yet our own unique life is waiting within- all full of purpose.  We don’t have to be young, beautiful or thin or rich to be of purpose.  The Universe does not create without purpose.  Even if we are old, disabled, ill, or whatever- as long we are alive, we have a purpose.  What is that purpose?  That is something we have to find ourselves.  And if we are willing to look, we can surely find it.  To waste our valuable life hours, comparing ourselves to others or envying others, is a slander of our own beautiful and unique selves.  But remember purpose is NOT one’s career.  Purpose is about our calling, our passion and our special talents whatever those may be- baking a cake, putting up a beautiful Christmas tree, writing a research thesis, singing, dancing, making others smile- and being ourselves.  No one can give us our purpose.  We have to find it ourselves.  Thanks to the person who wrote, “we are here to create a purpose for life” on that window of a boarded up building which I can see from where I work.