Why We Do Better

You don’t intend

We tend to think of the word inspire as an active verb. We believe a person intends to inspire: “She inspired me to speak up at our executive meetings.” “He inspired me to tutor at the local high school.” “She inspired me to start a side business selling my vintage dresses.” “He inspired me to tell my friends that I needed help.”

The truth is, inspire is almost always a passive verb:

“I was inspired, by that person…” (…who did not intend to inspire, who simply acted kindly, authentically, gracefully, selflessly, heroically – and I was watching.)