Each month at PRI’s The Works, we each share our thoughts on something new (or just new to us) that we find inspirational, thought-provoking, or just plain cool.
|A cow and her calf. Life goes on. Mothers protecting and nourishing their young. Inspiration renewed.|
|I am inspired by the recent surge and attention being paid to the veterans coming home from the Middle East. The Hiring Our Heroes program of job fairs that is taking the country by storm is a reflection of our commitment to these men and women; something that we have not seen the likes of since WWII. Not to repeat the many mistakes made when the war ended in Vietnam, companies such as Capital One, Comcast, and many others are committing to a number of jobs being available to veterans. We are being inspired to do something, anything, a random act of kindness to those returning home. Be it mowing a lawn, raking leaves, going to the grocery store, or some other nominal act requiring no recognition . . . that small act of random kindness can go a long way. Sometimes a simple, “thank you” just suffices.
|Talk about inspiring! I had the great experience of attending the annual Mother’s Retreat last month (the 19th retreat in total, about the seventh one for me). It’s for mothers, given by mothers. Being surrounded by amazing women and yes, getting a little silly sometimes, was beautiful and just plain wonderful. And yes . . . awe-inspiring. “A good example is contagious.”|
|I am inspired not only by the vast amounts of vegetation and trees good for eating but also by the variety. For example, there are over 7,000 types of apples such as the Ambrosia found in Canada which is mostly red in color with yellow patches. It’s not just apples, there are over one thousand types of bananas in the world, differing in appearance, size, taste, and use. There are over 600 varieties of oranges, 4,000 of tomatoes, and, depending on the use, there are over 16,000 different species of legumes and pods including beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts, and clovers.
With such a wide variety, chances are your least favorite fruits and vegetables exist somewhere to your palate’s liking.
|I’m inspired by spring exploding in my neighborhood. The trees are blossoming all around, bringing the pink and white blooms that can’t help but brighten my day. Every year, this time makes me remember my love for photography, and I reach for my macro lens to take close-ups of the flowers.|
|Last month’s inspiration reminded me of another cover song by a famous country music singer and this month I’m inspired by Johnny Cash’s rendition of Hurt which was originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails in the mid-90s. In the last year of his life, Cash took this alternative rock song and made it his own. In his voice, it is a poignant look back at friends and regrets and fits perfectly with his mind-set at the time as he dealt with illness and the passing of his wife. Even after hearing this song hundreds of times, it can still give me goosebumps when it comes up on my iPod.|
|I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even realize she was still alive. Though I’ve always loved her movies, I was made aware of her full library of songs (not just from the movies) by a friend more than 20 years ago. Though my friend was what I guess you would call a performance artist, including using full-volume, real ambulance sirens to “make the audience uncomfortable,” he fell in love with her voice and it was contagious. Doris Day celebrated her 88th birthday on April 3, and gave an extremely rare interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Give a listen. Happy Birthday to a true Hollywood legend.|