Who Determines Inspiration?
Posted June 13, 2012on:
About a month ago, I attended a meeting of a new stuttering support group. A SLP friend, who also stutters, wanted some of the people he has been working with to see the power of support.
Steve asked me to come to the first meeting, to meet some people and to share. I felt a little awkward going, as I most likely won’t be able to attend again, as the schedule doesn’t work for me.
I shared parts of my story with the group and answered some questions.
At one point in the conversation, Steve asked me how I had reached the point where I am comfortable advertising and stuttering freely at work.
In my answer, I mentioned that sometimes it bothers me when people tell me, “Oh, you are such an inspiration.” I feel embarrassed by that, and even a bit annoyed. Sometimes, I don’t want to be singled out like that and told that I am inspiring.
To me, I am doing exactly what everyone else is doing – talking. I don’t want a big deal made out of what everyone does everyday.
I was quite surprised when one woman, Francis, who had previously said very little, said, “Excuse me, but what if you are? Who are you to determine that? To people who stutter, you are an inspiration. You can’t control how people think of you.”
That was a moment! She was looking a little teary eyed as she said it. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said thank you. And she smiled and said, “I wish I could be as confident as you.”
There was another SLP in the group and she commented that she also agreed with Francis. She too said she thought I was inspiring for people who stutter.
I have thought about that exchange for a couple of weeks. It reminds me of a similar comment another friend shared with me some time ago. Lisa mentioned that she hates it when anyone calls her inspiring for just doing what she has to do and living life.
Interesting food for thought. What do you think? Has anyone ever referred to you as inspirational when you don’t feel you are?