Those Who Inspire Us, The Forty-Second Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal


The series features individuals in the public eye, some athletes, actors, writers, or activists, as they engage with letters of those
who have been inspired by them The featured famous person’s  influence has helped to change the letter writers’ lives.  

I’ve been watching Dear… on Apple TV.  I found it by accident.  While looking for another program a small square with Selena Gomez’s image caught my eye.  I clicked on her framed face and came upon Dear…  I watched the 30-minute segment and was immediately hooked. 

We all have people in our lives, those who have touched us, helping us to be our better selves.  My first memory of someone like that was Mrs.Schlosberg, my first-grade teacher at Stafford Elementary School in Cherry Hill, NJ.  Prior to her coming to our school, my classroom was in a corner of the school auditorium.  Our teacher was a mean woman who had me sit in the corner on a daily basis because I laughed out loud, a young child’s nervous habit.  There’s a thin line between laughter and crying. By the end of my school days, at the age of six, having been shamed for laughing, I would cry for being treated poorly by that teacher.  

Later in the Fall, we were moved to the old art room transformed into a new classroom. Our new teacher, Mrs. Schlosberg, was a compassionate educator who cared about her students.  She didn’t see me as a bad seed, she saw me as a child who was struggling, and she took the time and attention to give me a better experience as a first grader.  She helped me to become an ongoing learner.  And she taught me the wisdom of separating behavior from the person.  I did not inappropriately laugh in her class. I no longer felt uncomfortable.  I could laugh with ease when something was genuinely funny.  

It's been a very long time since I was in Mrs. Schlosberg’s class.  Since then so many have inspired me, from those I’ve never met like Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle and Michelle Obama to those who have personally touched my life.  We may never know how we impact another person.  Though well-known people have a larger platform, each of us have made a difference to someone. This is why kindness is so important.  It grows exponentially, possibly making an impact even sixty years later.    

Self-Care Tips:  

  • Think of the unsung heroes of your life.  Take a moment to silently thank them for the ways they’ve touched your life.  
  • If you have Apple TV, check out Dear….  If you don’t, maybe you can find a documentary or a TED talk with an inspiring person.  
  • Provide a simple act of kindness.  You just might make someone’s day.