Status update

Finding inspiration in everyday people

It was quite surreal to find myself trending in various social media sites. I’ve written a few articles before for my blog and for other blog sites that went viral but I never imagined that I myself would become a trending topic, even at least for a day.

But looking back at that experience, several things come to mind. Foremost of which is, would my story go viral had I become someone (something) else other than a lawyer. Would my story be any less inspiring if I became a teacher or an engineer or a nurse?

I was asking that myself because truly, and I’ve mentioned this to every reporter/blogger who wanted to broadcast/publish my story: my story is commonplace in this country. Everyday’s a struggle for most Pinoy youth. In my life, I’ve met people who had it worse than me but through hard work, they were able to alleviate their status in life. I’ve met a former security guard who became a well-loved politician, I’ve met a shoe-shine boy who became a college professor, I’ve had a friend who used to live in the slums far worse than the places we used to live in who topped the accountancy board exams. And after my story went viral, I was approached and messaged by strangers who shared the same story line and I was blown away by their personal experiences! Someone shared that he was once a bakery boy but is now a part of a leading IT company in the UK. Someone also shared the story of a pedicab driver who topped the accountancy board exams. Yet, I believe their stories never went viral.

Indeed, there’s a lot of hardworking people out there and it’s not surprising really for someone like me to attain my dream of becoming a lawyer.

I was really puzzled at first when media people started contacting me about my story.  When I posted my story on my personal blog page, it was nothing more than a personal reminder. So when I began receiving messages for interviews, I declined in a heartbeat. I went to a point where I told a news researcher, that my story was for all the selfish reasons. I did it for me in the first place. In fact, anyone in my position would do the same. It was just a normal undertaking. But just like everyone else, he said, my story is an inspiration.

An inspiration.

That got me good.

And I am really thankful for all the people who find inspiration in my story. It is an honor to inspire people.

But let me take this opportunity to remind others that we should not overlook everyday inspirations. One thing that I always say to people who reach out to me telling me how I’m being an inspiration to them is that they too can be an inspiration and I tell them, we should always find ways to be an inspiration to to others even in our own little ways.

And I couple that with a reminder that we should always find inspiration in everyday people. This can be done simply by acknowledging other people’s efforts; by finding merit in their struggles.

That school teacher who spends his own money for visual aids just so he can impart effectively his knowledge to his students – he is an inspiration. That father who skips lunch so that he could find extra income during lunch break to add to his daughter’s tuition expenses – he is an inspiration. That volunteer going house to house surveying for undernourished kids – she is an inspiration. That college student, working in a fast food chain to support her studies – she is an inspiration.

With that last example, let’s not always look at the finished product for inspiration. Let us also find inspiration and strength in those who are weathering adversities in order to reach their dream.

To paraphrase an old saying, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. We should always respect and acknowledge that. A little recognition of someone else’s effort can go a long way.