My Dear “Kindred Spirit,”
So I was inspired to write this post about inspiration!
Sorry. I know that was super lame, but I just couldn’t resist…
This is one of those subjects that’s been turning around in my brain for a while now, so I figured it was about time I sat down and tried to write a post about it.
I’ve noticed that there’s basically two different ways we influence others: we either try to push them into becoming better people, or we inspire them to become better people.
There’s plenty of ways we can (and do) push people into bettering themselves. We shame and “guilt” them into it, use fear and manipulation tactics, or downright force them into things.
Despite how often they’re used, none of those are very good or healthy tactics.
It really is true that good leaders inspire others to follow.
Take, for example, my oldest brother. He’s a born leader, and when he gets excited about something, I can’t help but get excited about it too.
And while there have been a few times in my life I’ve felt “pushed” into things by him, for the most part I just feel inspired by him. He gets excited about something, and his obvious enthusiasm for it gets me fired up too.
I have him to thank for a lot of things in my life that I never would have “discovered” on my own. Without his inspiration I probably wouldn’t own a gun, let alone have a pistol permit and 4 very intense gunfighting courses under my belt.
I would never have started listening to the Survival Podcast, wouldn’t know what Permaculture is, and most definitely wouldn’t have ever heard the term “fecophobe,” let alone have read the “Humanure Handbook!” (You want to talk about inspiring people! It takes a lot of inspiration to get someone excited to read that book! But he did it…)
While this idea of inspiring others ties into pretty much all parts of life, I notice it very much with relationships.
There are perks to having 6 brothers, not the least of which is the opportunity to hear the “guys point of view” about so much of life. I’ve been fortunate to have heard and learned from my brothers much about how guys think, act, like to be treated, and what encourages and inspires them.
One of the lessons I’ve learned from my brothers is that a real lady makes a man want to be a gentleman.
Just by her actions, by her being a lady, it brings out the best in him. He wants to be a gentleman to impress her. It brings out his protective instinct, and he will act more kind and respectful, more protective and caring, around a woman who acts like a lady.
In other words: true femininity inspires masculinity to be the best it can be.
Now, I can’t personally vouch for this, as unfortunately I’m not the type of girl that “inspires masculinity…” One of the downsides to having 6 brothers is that becoming a tomboy (or, in my case, an “honorary dude”) is kinda a matter of survival. And although it’s something I’m working on, I still don’t tend to bring that gentlemanly instinct out in guys.
However, I can tell you from personal experience that this works vice versa: true masculinity inspires femininity to be the best it can be.
When I witness masculinity at it’s best, it makes me want to be a better woman.
A few months ago, I had the fortunate experience of spending some time with a few different gentlemen. Over the course of a week or so, I spent multiple days in the company of more than one man whom I highly respect.
It was a delightful, if somewhat strange, experience. I’d never before in my life had my car door opened and closed for me, and yet I found it happening all day. As well as other doors being held open for me, and being invited to go first or in front multiple times.
I felt simultaneously protected, cared for, and respected.
But most of all, I felt like a lady, and I wanted very much to be a lady. I wanted my actions and behavior to be deserving of the wonderful treatment I was receiving.
I was inspired by it. It made me want to be a better example of Godly femininity.
I know I’m not exactly qualified to be giving relationship advice here… But I can’t help but wonder what would happen if instead of complaining about how we’re being treated, or not being treated in a relationship; instead of trying to “push” the other person into bettering themselves; instead of trying to force them to treat us how we want to be treated, we decided to inspire them to be the best they can be.
What if men decided that regardless of how their woman was acting, they would be the best man they could be? They would be an example of Godly masculinity, treat her as if she was a lady, love her, lead her, and try to inspire her whether she deserved to be treated well or not!
And what if women decided that regardless of how their man was acting, they would be the best woman they could be? They would be an example of Godly femininity, treat him as though he was a gentleman, respect him, honor him, follow him, and try to inspire him whether he deserved to be treated well or not!
Wouldn’t we not only be happier, but also get a lot further, if we used the “inspiration” tactic instead of the pushing, shoving, forcing, “guilting” and shaming tactics??
It’s gotta at least be worth a try…
4 thoughts on “Inspiration!”
A few thoughts.
Second, A man isn’t inspired to impress a lady. Rather, he is inspired to bless her.
Third, your can-do attitude may not inspire a man to open doors for you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t inspire masculinity in other ways. A woman (such as yourself) that is respectful, that will let a man lead, and that tries to help the boys instead of competing with them inspires a man to lead and protect her. Yeah, it is good to inspire guys to open doors, but if I had to choose one of the two, I would prefer to be inspired to lead!
Inspired to bless her rather than inspired to impress her… I like that! It makes much better sense, not to mention that it sounds way more sweet and “awww.”
I realized during writing this that it’s really hard to think up examples of how men bless women, other than the obvious “acting like a gentleman, holding doors, blah, blah, blah.”
Not that women don’t appreciate that – we do, very much – but that’s certainly not the only way, and not the most important way, that we are blessed and inspired by men.
And I definitely agree that the end goal for women when trying to inspire men is not getting them to hold the door for us! We (should be) trying to inspire them to be stronger leaders and men of God, to follow their dreams and do “bigger and better” things in their life than simply being a gentleman (or “nice guy”).
So I guess there are many ways femininity can “inspire” masculinity, and maybe I can pat myself on the back just a little that hopefully, someday, somehow, I can be of some inspiration to some dude! 😛
This post was very much like something you’d find on Bearded Ben’s Blog. Are you related to him by any chance? It almost seems like the two of you are in some sort of competition or something -he does a post on perspiration, and 2 days later you do one on inspiration.
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Bearded Ben?? Never heard of the guy. I can only imagine what kind of “I AM MAN!!” dude he is, though, if he’s doing blog posts on perspiration (ewww…).