Who or What Inspires You?

Helen Forsythe, HCI board co-chair
Youth Video PSA contest

Inspiration comes to me from people. Hearing people’s stories and understanding what makes them tick is what I cherish. Fostering a spirit of connection among people is what I aim to do. I want to create spaces where people feel comfortable sharing stories and learning from each other. By listening to one another, people can expand their perspectives and build meaning in their lives. 

In my own life, it is currently a time of much transition and excitement. I am 18 and about to graduate from Northfield High School. I find myself looking back and marveling at how much I have learned in the past few years. Inspiration has taken me to a lot of different places as I’ve tried to figure out what work is most effective in building community. I have learned the necessity of approaching all things with faith in others and faith in myself.

In any lifestyle, occupation, hobby, or passion, inspiration is the catalyst. Inspiration is the start to it all, and without it, nothing would ever get done. I can’t say that inspiration is easy, though. Trusting the judgment of yourself and the people you work with can be difficult. It takes confidence in the possibility of what can be created. Without this trust and confidence, inspiration doesn’t come. If you find yourself becoming aware of how bad things are for many of the world’s people and land, it is important to know that hopelessness is always pointless. Start within your own neighborhood, start small and see where it takes you. Find inspiration in anything you can appreciate and love. 

I want to offer a challenge to the young people of this town. The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative is hosting a video contest this summer around this theme of inspiration. This contest offers an opportunity for young people to share stories of what makes them excited, motivated, and energized. There truly is nothing more important than sharing your passion with others, and this is an excellent place to do that. Maybe you are inspired by fish, and you could spend all day studying their anatomy, behavior, and how they fit into an ecosystem. Maybe you love to play basketball, and you and your neighbors have pick-up games every Tuesday and it’s the highlight of your week. Make a video about it to show your friends and your community. In seeing your story, somebody else might find the energy and courage to stick their toe out of their comfort zone and start up something new. There is no limit to how much of an impact you can create by sharing your passion.

So, what inspires you? 

Helen Forsythe is the outgoing co-chair of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative Board of Directors. This column originally appeared in the Northfield News, as part of a quarterly feature supported by the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative. For more information about the video contest, “Who or What Inspires You,” visit the HCI website at www.northfieldhci.org, or find HCI on Facebook.