What Inspires You?

I love inspiration: I think it’s one of the most important and underrated aspects of human experience. That sense you get when something wonderful, something amazing takes your breath away, drops your jaw and makes you go “Wow!” I find inspiration in many things: art, theatre, music, the natural world, the fantastic discoveries of science, the vastness of space. But the best inspiration, for me, comes when something is not just astonishing but also represents my deepest values. When I see my Humanist beliefs mirrored and expressed in a beautiful, compelling way – that makes me go wild. Recently I’ve been watching Symphony of Science compulsively, have put Jason Silva’s videos on repeat. There’s even a video of Jason Silva autotuned by Symphony of Science!

So, what inspires you? Where do you find your values reflected and supercharged? What makes you excited, rapt, and proud to be a Humanist?

About James Croft

James Croft is the Leader in Training at the Ethical Culture Society of St. Louis - one of the largest Humanist congregations in the world. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently writing his Doctoral dissertation as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book "The Godless Congregation", co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.

  • Kodie

    I feel most closely related to humankind when I see something amazingly created from the brain – what goes in and what comes out. You might say invention. It is usually artistic, but doesn’t have to be a major work of art or highly regarded by critics of the genre (it might not even rate belonging to a genre). It doesn’t even have to be good, but sincere; it doesn’t have to be deep or important but it can be. It, to me, is like looking at the insides of everyone’s weird brains and coming up with new ways of seeing and thinking, and how they get those thoughts outside of their brains so I can see or hear them, is what is inspiring to me. Absurdity is humanity. We as a species try to be organized and professional and keep a clean cover, and I don’t underestimate the value of that, but to feel like I belong on this planet and of this species, I need to know other people see absurdity and think absurdly, and remind me that I don’t have to be more important than I am or more popular to have the power and the freedom to express myself.

  • Tony

    Lately I’ve been inspired by the process of learning about and fully embracing what it means to be human and a part of this amazing world; accepting my limits and talents, and those of others. I’m inspired by discussions about ideas about our humanity and community. I’m inspired by when the first glimpse of understanding about a new subject/idea flashes on my children’s faces. I’m inspired by vulnerability and the strength it takes to open up to others.

  • http://blogspot.nathandst.com NathanDST

    Are you talking about what actually gets you/me moving and doing something? Or just what excites us?