Inspiration

My recent experience with my students has lead me to the following conclusions: having an idol is more important than I previously thought and inspiration is developed. First, I would like to discuss how I came to these conclusions. It has come to my attention that many if not most of my students treat wealth as their goal. I am not implying that they think money is the most important thing, but I do feel as if they act on that belief.

The first thought that arises is greed, understandably. However, greed seems too simple to do this phenomenon justice even though it is probably partly responsible.

I sometimes ask my students what great person inspires them. More often than not, I receive no answer. This has led me to believe that there is a connection between treating money as the goal in life and having no idol. An idol gives one direction; it sets a model for a person to imitate. If one, for example, held Gandhi as an idol, then hopefully, one would try to internalize at least some of Gandhi's characteristics. Therefore, as a result of not having a person to admire, many of my students are on a wrong path set forth by greed. Thus, I believe now that having an idol is much more important than I previously thought. This leads me directly to the second conclusion.

Inspiration is developed; it does not happen over night. I could show a documentary about Gandhi to my students which would probably lead to the understanding that he was a good man, but would not result in anything extraordinary. However, if my students were raised in an environment that encouraged them to be inspired, then there would be a larger chance of them having an idol.

I must make a small, but essential distinction. What I just explained is inspiration given to a person. Hence, in this situation, the person is more of a receiver of inspiration. I want to mention that I believe inspiration can also be developed within oneself. In other words, people can take the initiative to inspire themselves. Thus, inspiration can be developed in two different ways, by receiving it and initializing it. In a sense, inspiration is similar to knowledge; it can be taught and self-taught.