“You have to be exposed to be inspired.” I uttered these words one day whilst in my bedroom talking to my husband. The statement occurred to me in its entirety and made a ton of sense to me. I spoke it to him and my husband did not get moved like I was. Undetered I sought out a pencil and a piece of paper in my bedside drawer and scribbled the words down. This was long before I was involved in social media and longer still before I comfortably called myself a writer. Yet somehow I knew this simple statement would be important to me.
I was a fortunate child. If I had a desire it was, within reason, indulged. I was taken to Broadway musicals since I was a girl, experienced different sporting events, tried my hand at several classes from tap to gymnastics, bowling to racquetball. I tested the waters of many things. In short, I was exposed. Not everything shown to me elicited a passionate response. But other things, wondrous, glorious experiences, took my imagination, point of reference, and desires to new awesome heights. I was exposed to them and they, in turn, inspired me.
Throughout my adulthood I have continued the indulgences my parents started in my youth; I try to experience a ton of varied parts of life. From Karate to choir, Cub Scout Den Leadership to building an Internet career, I just throw my feelers out hoping to be mystified, carried away, transported, even, to a greater consciousness. I expose myself in hopes of being inspired!
When I joined Rowdy.com, the NASCAR social networking site, I was asked in my profile to list a favorite quote. I have a few. Racecar driver Mike Skinner spoke on-air this unforgettable string of words, “I’d wreck my own mother to win my first race!” That is a mainstay for my favorite quotes. I also use one I created that works well for my family/Team 187, “Where we go one we go all.” It may sound overly dependent and dysfunctional, but it works for us. Lastly, I reached back into my bedside drawer and pulled out the now rumpled piece of paper that read in my own scrawl, “You have to be exposed to be inspired.” Did it still sound as powerful? Did I still believe in its core properties? Obviously I responded in the affirmative and included it. These quotes join me all over the Internet when “Favorite Quotes” is a category. But not until now could I foresee being able to share the statement; explain it and open it up for debate.
I believe that to inspire an aspiring artist you need to expose him/her to art in all forms. To inspire a musician, music must be played. To cajole a promising writer to write, books must be provided. No matter what the category, I believe that unless one is exposed in some way, there isn’t opportunity to be inspired.
Do you agree? Do you feel I’ve made only valid points? Or do you, like my husband, think being exposed isn’t a prerequisite to inspiration. I’m fascinated by the differing of opinions and look to you all to enlighten me with your opinions and examples.