An inspiring friend

Celebrating the lives of those who inspire us

Who inspires you? Who are the people you think of when you need encouragement? Whose voices do you seek out when you’re in need of a lift?

If you’re anything like me, the people who come to mind are those like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther Kind Jr, or Maya Angelou. Our minds drift to well known people who have changed the world.

This is normal and healthy. We should draw inspiration from people like this. But people don’t have to change the world on a global scale to be equally inspiring.

Today my friend Laura starts a new stage in her life after taking the bold step to stand up for what she believes in. She is leaving behind the familiar and bravely enters into the unknown.

That alone is enough to celebrate. But I’ve had the privilege of knowing Laura for over ten years now and in countless other ways she is an astonishing force for good in the world.

The sacrifices she has made to care for those around her are immeasurable. The time she gives to those in need, on top of being a working mum, challenge and inspire me deeply.

Her positivity, often in the midst of extremely trying times, is relentless. No matter what is going on for her personally, she still always manages to have something to give to those around her.

The compassion Laura has for those around her seems to know no bounds. And, on a personal level, the love and support she has shown to my wife, Rachel, in the midst of all her health challenges this year is not something that will ever be forgotten.

Laura may never be as well known as the famous names I mentioned above, but in her own unique way she is as much an inspiration to me as each of them. I feel lucky to know her and lucky to have her as a friend.

And the truth is we all have people like this around us. We don’t need to solely look to global world-changers to find inspiration.

We take time to celebrate the Mandela’s of this world, and we love to quote the wisdom of the likes of Maya Angelou, but are we as good at letting those around us know how grateful we are for their lives?

This is my way of celebrating Laura today.

Is there anyone in your life who you could celebrate and express gratitude to today?

A public thank you to my friend Matthew Johnson

The life-saving practice of stepping away