Who Inspires YOU? Leave a Comment • Win a Book!Do you know someone who touches the world around them in a positive way and whose small daily kindnesses are a FORCE-OF-GOOD? Nominate him or her below in the comments section for a chance to win an ORIGINAL PIECE OF ART FOR THAT PERSON and a FREE copy of Desire to Inspire! Leave a comment below for your own chance to win a book! We're now on our final week of Inspired By! The Desire to Inspire Force-of-Good Awards and next Thursday, March 15, I'll announce the winners of all four awards as well as give away one final copy of the book from the comments left this week! You can read more about the series and our first spotlit focus—the DREAM BIG Award—here, the second award we featured—the MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Award—right here and last week's feature—the MAKE-A-DIFFERENCE Award, here. We are touched and inspired by the comments everyone has left in these first three weeks, nominating the good souls who inspire you. We promised each week we'd give away one copy of Christine Mason Miller's book, Desire to Inspire to one randomly-chosen winner, and the third copy—from last week's comments—goes to . . . CreatingCures—congratulations! We'll be in touch with you soon! The FORCE-OF-GOOD Award was inspired by chapter one in Desire to Inspire, "A Force of Good: When We Care for Ourselves, We Care for the World." "A force of good." That label feels like it must accompany some pretty impressive credentials, doesn't it? As Christine put it in her book, it conjures up notions of "something requiring a red-wax sealed document and a chorus of trumpets. It has a global weight and feel to it, as if to imply intentions must be big in order to be impactful." While it's certainly true that throughout history we've had inspiring leaders that have gone to impressive lengths to set the bar high (and I, for one, am grateful that individuals such as Oprah, Bono and Bill Gates have bravely contributed what their hearts called them to do), chapter one of Christine's book really stresses the importance of everyday humble generosity and lovingkindness. It brings to mind an email that was forwarded to me recently —you know, the kind that gets forwarded all around the world? Well this one basically asked you to recall the last five Oscar winners, the five wealthiest people in the world, the last five Nobel Prize winners, the last five Miss America Pageant winners, and a few other "greats." The message then went on to ask you to recall five teachers/mentors who always believed in you, five friends who've helped you when you were down, five people who have made you feel appreciated and so on. I think you can see where this is going, right? Great leaders make an impact on the world, but just as importantly, great people you know make an impact on your life. Small opportunities for kindness—saying "thank you," smiling, listening, cheerfully responding when your help is requested, baking surprise treats for a neighbor, replacing a judgmental thought with a compassionate one—can have the longest-lasting impact. The other point this chapter makes, is that being this "everyday-variety force of good" in our world, in our lives, begins with giving these little niceties to ourselves. When we are happy, when we remember that inner goodness that makes up our being, we are so much more easily equipped to bring up others. As contributor Vineeta Nair says, "When I am happy, I spread happiness." Therefore, we do a lot of good unto others when we are first good to ourselves; we have more positive energy to spend on others. Never underestimate the power of your small acts. You may not always see their effect, but they leave their mark on others in a wonderful way. As contributor Marianne Elliott explains:
"I've learned that I can start by saving the little bit of the world that is within my reach—by serving the people right in front of me—because I really never know how far an act of kindness can reach, no matter how small."Who do know who leaves others feeling better after they've crossed paths? Leave a comment here, telling us all about the person you’d like to nominate for the FORCE-OF-GOOD Award (or one of the three other awards). If you write a post about your nomination on your own blog, you can include a link for that as well. On March 15, 2012, winners of the four Inspired By! awards will be announced, and if your nominee is chosen, they’ll receive a signed copy of Desire to Inspire, along with an original collage creation by Christine Mason Miller. But that’s not all; just by leaving a comment that nominates someone, you’ll be eligible each week for a randomly selected winner of a copy of the book! So tell us who you are inspired by!
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