Do the people who motivate you know it?

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This is a picture of Tad Lietz playing the cello with his foot. I realized I could figure out a way to play again even though my arm was not able to hold the bow up anymore. A few feet of rubber exercise bands hanging from the ceiling and the problem was solved.

I was thinking about a few of the people who have motivated, dare I say “inspired,” me to do something different, conquer a fear, or keep myself pushing along. Often times it’s someone whose story I’ve seen on the internet or television. Occasionally it’s someone who I see in public do something nice or new. There are times when examples from relatives and friends push me to make a change as well.

I started thinking about these moments of inspiration and realized that very few of the people who have motivated me actually know that they’ve done this. I don’t usually send an email or make a phone call to thank someone who has inspired me. I don’t think most people do this. We tend to get fussy when something isn’t going our way and that’s when the pens and paper come out. If things are moving in a positive direction, we often don’t take time to appreciate the person who has helped get us going.

This isn’t a plea to start thanking everyone who has had an impact on you. Rather, I’m calling attention to the fact that you never know who will be motivated by you and your actions. After I posted the story of Bob McPhee, it occurred to me that he will never possibly know how many people his story has impacted. What’s even more interesting is that Bob’s story, while extraordinary, is really based on the fact that he decided to just continue living life and doing the things he wanted to do.

So isn’t it encouraging to know that you can simply live your life — disability or not — and know that it’s going to have an impact on someone else and probably many more people than you’ll ever know? Inevitably you’re going to face and beat challenges, accomplish something neat, or do something new. This is a part of human life for those of us who choose to live it.

So do your thing, share your story, and know that you’re going to have an impact on someone, somewhere, sometime.

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