Friday, 20 June 2014

Vol 28: Inspiration and Kindness are interconnected

Good times to you, fellow Peeker (Positivity Seeker).
If you are a regular reader of Positivity Weekly, you will be aware that we seem to stumble upon various themes every week. Redemption, knowledge, change, attitude, unusual journeys, beautiful actions, the goodness of nature, the human spirit and diversity are just some of the themes we have covered.
This week, we have two themes. Inspiration and kindness. And it’s amazing how connected these ideas are. Have a look.

News from the public domain

A one-armed leader
Miles O’Brien was just an average Joe. Assuming that the average Joe jet sets around the world, bringing difficult-to-cover news stories to your television screens. As a freelancer, life was definitely more challenging for him than the network journalists. But what O’Brien had not bargained for was to lose his left hand in a freak accident.
In this moving article in the New York magazine, he mentions his denial, his childhood and other sundry factors that influenced his rehabilitative process. Since some of us might not want to invest the fifteen minutes required to read this article, let me offer the gist in O’Brien’s own words:
“Two months to the day after my accident, I went to see a therapist for the first time in my life. I didn’t know where to begin. We discussed loss and resilience and the will to live and adapt. But when I started talking about the outpouring of love and support that I had received since my accident, I began weeping uncontrollably. I realized that for the first time in my life, I was truly letting love into my heart. Losing an arm has connected me to others in a way I have never felt. Yes, I have suffered a tremendous loss, but in a way, I feel as if I have gained much more.”
A promise well kept
A son promised his father that he would buy him a 1957 Chevy bel-air on his 57th birthday. Here’s what happened when he kept his word.
Homeless man, racism and kindness
Sometimes, just sometimes, when you hurl racial epithets at people, you find your life changing for the better! This story describes one such time.
The making of Rocky
Have you checked out the incredible story behind the story that is Rocky? You’ll find Stallone’s mesmerizing journey here. Highlights:
  • Stallone is so broke at one time that he sells his dog for $25.
  • Watching a Mohammad Ali fight inspires Stallone to dash out the entire manuscript in 3 days. Takes numerous rewrites to get the character right, though.
  • Studios love the script, and offer as high a price as $330,000 for the script. Stallone refuses because they would not let him star in the film. And he already knows he is a star. Eventually, they cast him, but reduce to cost to a fraction of the initial offer – $35,000.
  • Stallone spends $15,000 of that money in buying back his dog Butkus. The dog stars in the film alongside him!!
You are now free to feel heady.
Traffic halted to save a life
Some Westerners might read this headline and wonder: what’s the big deal? Commuters around the world make way for emergency vehicles like ambulances. Well, the difference is that no place on earth experiences traffic quite like the Indian metropolises during rush hour. And we, as a society, are only just learning to respect the right of way of ambulances et al. We are getting there. I was thrilled to note the swift response exhibited by the cops of Chennai.
This could well be a precursor to countless lives saved over the next few centuries.

In conclusion

I have a theory. It’s as follows: all of us have at least one awe-inspiring story waiting to happen in our own lives. At least one. If one hasn’t happened to you, then perhaps it’s waiting to happen. But inspiration is a demanding mistress. She comes to those who deserve her.
I’m working to keep her by my side all the time. And in order to woo her, I keep fawning over her sister: Kindness.
What’s your approach?

As always, do write in with your feedback, story ideas and personal anecdotes. You can reach us at
To read the previous volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.
To read the next volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.


  1. Is inspiration really a conscious activity? To get inspired one has to feel kindness and gratitude. Being kind evokes empathy while gratitude makes us contended. Without gratitude, one tends to crib constantly, leading to negative thoughts that destroy any chance of getting inspired.

    1. Well said, Raj. Gratitude is indeed as important as kindness. Several other positivity barometers exist as well. This week, we focused on two of them.
      Thank you for commenting.

    2. Got it! So thanks to my Kind Teacher Eshwar for inspiring.

    3. You are welcome, Sowmya. Thanks for being such a diligent follower of the Positivity Weekly.