A friend of mine was in Malawi at the Jacaranda School for Orphans teaching makeup for the vocational program. The pictures and her words about the classes she was teaching have stayed with me for days. They have no electricity or running water, yet she says the determination in their eyes was inspiring, to say the least. And that got me thinking about how often, I have taken for granted what I know and what I have experienced. I tend to lose sight of how fortunate I have been to have my career and the opportunities these women may never experience.
Inspiration comes in many different places. When I feel depleted of any fresh ideas, I find myself in a museum or looking at my many art books to find something that will spark my imagination. I have the freedom and the ability to do these things at a moment's notice. I am able to travel and experience so many cultures both in big cities and in the countryside. And yet, these women are inspired by the need for knowledge and the opportunity to make their future better than what they have known. They find ways to learn even under the most dire circumstances. They have not traveled, nor do they have the museums or beautiful art books to initiate an idea for their art. But they find it and they cultivate it.
What they do have is this insatiable desire to learn and grow no matter what. When my friend asked who wanted to try doing the makeup she had taught them, she said she thought one girl would come up. Instead, all of them came up and started doing the makeup step by step on each other from her tiny kit. The door had been opened for them and there was no way they were not going to barrel through and learn whatever they could. This opportunity was so precious to them that they knew it could be lost in a second and they were determined to grab everything offered at that moment.
Are you grabbing those precious moments when inspiration strikes? Or do you file them away, saying you will come back to them when you need them? And when will that be? I say don't wait. Act on that inspiration. Inspire other people. Connect with someone and teach them your talents. You never know where it will take you or what you will discover from that seed of creativity. Like the beautiful Jacaranda tree, it starts from a seed and is inspired to grow into something magnificent!