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True Stories of Inspiration

Jan 8, 2011, 3:18 AM 6

True Stories of Inspiration

[Please post in response to this blog if you know similar tales (or true stories) of inspiration that you would love to share.]

The following tales of inspiration are true stories, and while the details may not be all accurate (as I am telling them from memory, having heard of them months ago), the ideas are preserved through my writing.

I first wrote those stories down, as I was inspired to share them with the two teams in the recent Experienced Members vs. New Members vote chess game which ended abruptly after an apparent cheating accident ruined the game but allowed both teams to transcend the joint disappointment and to display their Grace of Humanity -- by offering and agreeing to a draw in a position that no longer was drawn (due to the effect of the cheating).

The Final Sprint. In a recent athletic championship, as the start of the final 100-meter dash was announced by the starting gun, one of the sprinters tripped and fell in the first meters, while the others took off.  Everyone wanted to win, as is usual in such competitions, but somehow the other sprinters understood that there was something bigger going on than a mere quest for a podium finish in this event.  One by one, they all stopped running toward the finish line, turned around, and walked back toward the sprinter who had fallen and who was now watching them in amazement.  Then, they all joined hands together, the fallen sprinter among them, and walked together -- crossing the finish line as one.  Everyone -- among the sportsmen, and everyone on the stadium and those of us who read about this story -- won on that day!

Christmas at War.  This happened during World War I, where the German soldiers were locked in a battle against the French, but no side was making progress for days and months, and the front lines were not moving in either direction. The enemy soldiers were in fact so close that they could both see (if it were not for the deep trenches) and hear each other.  Then, Christmas came.  Suddenly, the French soldiers heard a German song from across, a Christmas song.  Then, with disbelief, they saw German soldiers standing up from the trenches in clear view, and lighting candles, continuing with their song.  The French soldiers understood that this was a moment not of war, but of respect for our humanity.   There was noone they needed to fight.  They stood up too from their trenches, lit candles and walked toward the Germans, exchanging chocolates and other small gifts with one another.  That day, the two sides transcended their (imaginary) differences, and made clear that we are all part of the same human race.  (Sadly, this joint gesture was over soon after the holy day passed, when the commanders issued orders to resume the war.) 

[What inspires me about this story is the clear realization of the soldiers that they were not at war with anyone; instead, only their commanders, or the commanders' commanders were.]

I hope these stories inspire you as much as they inspire me!

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