Friday, 2 December 2016
Sofia's Selection 6... Inspirational Characters
It is the beginning of December where you are but for us time does not exist. We do enjoy watching you move through 'seasons' and prepare for annual events. Right now wherever Donald and I travel we are aware of Christmas, happiness by many, sadness for some. So, for my sixth selection, I'm thinking of those who may be experiencing sadness, bereavement or despair at this time and have selected her blog on 'Inspirational Characters' published in May this year in the hope that it will help you through the month.
After being philosophical and educational throughout the month of May I am going to finish the theme with some inspirational characters.
Cliff Richard, originally, Harry Webb, the pop singer was knighted in 1996 and has had a string of number one hits. He has also acted in numerous teenage movies in the 50's and 60's, like Summer Holiday. He is a devout Christian and an inspiration to many.
John Lennon, one of the Beatles, or the Fab Four as many of us will remember them in the Swinging Sixties. He was assassinated in 1980. Remembered not only for his music but for his 'lie-in' in 1970 as his way of making a 'peace' protest. Inspirational for his placid way of life as well as his music and particularly the immortal, Imagine.
From music, on to the world of sport and football. Players like David Beckham, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney have become idols to many fans and as such inspirational figures.
Rosa Parks, a negro woman refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 when local laws dictated that a negro must always give up a seat if a white person was standing. She became an inspiration to many as a result of one simple deed of defiance and eventually the law was changed.
Martin Luther King, assassinated in Memphis in 1968. But an inspiration to all as a non-violent protester for racial equality. He used methods of protest mastered by Mahatma Gandhi in India. Tragically, both men, like John Lennon were assassinated. People who are prepared to make their mark on life, try to change things for the better, make themselves targets and become even more inspirational for their contribution while alive, after their untimely death.
Neil Armstrong, no body who was around in July 1969 could forget that moment when Neil walked on the Moon. He made history and completed John F Kennedy's promise to America, when the USSR placed the first capsule into space, that the Americans would have a man on the Moon before 1970. The world rejoiced at this remarkable achievement and the astronauts returned but it could have been a different story. The one thing they were not sure about was if they could launch off from the Moon and return safely; if that had failed President Nixon had a different speech ready as the astronauts were to be left on the Moon. Knowing that, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin still made the epic journey.
Then there are the numerous explorers who venture out on voyages of discovery or climb mountains knowing that they may not return. What makes these individuals take on such challenges? I once asked a friend whose hobby was mountain climbing why and the reply, because it's there! Edmund Hillary was the first person to reach the summit of Everest. Personally, I would not have made it to Base Camp! James Cook set sail on the high seas in Endeavour on his voyage of discovery in the 18th century; at that time one in three who set out on a ship was destined to die. Christopher Columbus set sail at a time when it was thought that the world was flat.
How many people have spent their lives inventing things which we now take for granted? Nothing was ever created on a first attempt. Inventors will have spent hours thinking, planning and experimenting unsuccessfully before their final achievement. Alexander Graham Bell must have been overjoyed when he discovered he could talk to someone in another room by using two instruments and wire. Bill Gates has given us Microsoft and now we cannot imagine a world without it. How many lives have been saved by Christiaan Barnard's idea of transplants? What a challenge!
In the world of entertainment there are numerous stars who become legends in their live time and more so in death: Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, John Mills, James Dean, Buddy Holly, Laurence Olivier. . .
In the field of politics, some leaders leave their mark on the world: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. . .
Naturally, as a writer I would have to include a few literary names on this list. These are the people who I aspire to be like. My editor commented that my dialogue in Stay in Touch crackled and was so realistic. I was flattered as my hero, Ernest Hemingway was considered to be the master of dialogue; it made me think that maybe I was going in the right direction. Other eminent writers are Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Gustave Flaubert. . . Sometimes it is the characters in novels which leave a lasting impression on the mind. Or poets and artists, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Picasso.
Finally, after a run through of inspirational people I want to finish with one man who has truly inspired me with his attitude to life and ability to endure hardship and come through it as a strong and smiling person before making changes for the better. Who could forget the day Nelson Mandela walked out of prison after 26 years of imprisonment?
With that I leave you with the thought for the week: What does not kill you makes you stronger!
Love Sofia and Donald xxxx