Today I am inspired by a podcast I was listening to yesterday that had originally been broadcast on Radio National Australia. The podcast was on the history of libraries. There were two particular strains of thought from this podcast that inspired me.

  1. Knowledge is important
  2. Everyone has a right to information.

Knowledge is important. It is the reason for libraries. For books and schools. How knowledge is communciated is important. The communication of knowledge has such a huge influence on how we interpret the knowledge and what we do with it. There are some people who believe some knowledge is too important to share. It gives them power.

Everyone does have a right to information. This is why libraries were formed.  Again it’s how we use that information that influences, educates and inspires us. Everyone has a right to information and now with technology and social media more people can access information and more quickly than ever before. How much information we share and how often is often a concern.

Information becomes knowledge. Knowledge is information. Knowledge is important and everyone has the right to information. How we share our information and knowledge is influential. How often we share our information and knowledge is influential.

Sharing information and knowledge is much easier today and in some ways more dangerous. Media outlets quick to share information before it has been confirmed as fact. People taking and sharing information they see on social media as true before checking if it’s a realiable source.

Yes knowledge is important and yes everyone has the right to information and in this technological, fast world how we use knowledge and information can still be influential and inspirational. Just be careful.


Finding inspiration from volunteering

“As you grow old, you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others” Audrey Hepburn

I have long been inspired by helping others. Friends, family members, strangers in the street. The help may be as significant as taking someone to a medical appointment or it may be simple as letting them in front of you in the supermarket queue.

Eleven years ago I decided to be a volunteer for my local library service. This work is not just about helping others, it is also rewarding and has allowed me to meet some inspirational people.  Once every three weeks I deliver library books to older members of the community who are unable to get to the public library. Some of these people, through their attitude to life, have inspired me and my attitudes.

One of my first clients was a lovely, elderly lady living in her own home. When she was in her 70’s she decided to go back to university to get her masters. That in itself is inspirational.  She then went on in her 80’s to be a volunteer English tutor at her local primary school. The half a day a week that she gave to her school and my regular visit helped her cope with her cancer treatments. It was inspirational to know that despite having a terminal illness she was able to find a way to make the most of her life. Reading, for her own pleasure and advancements,  as well as helping others to read. Inspirational.

One of my current clients is a lady of 101 years of age. Her smiling face, her memory recall and attitude to life are inspirational. I was invited to her 100th birthday party, a great afternoon with music supplied by the Police Pipe Band.  Her smile and happiness on that day were infectious. Now at 101 she is slowing down a little but still has time for a chat and her lovely smile still lights up her face. Most of us worry about getting old but she embraces her age in an inspirational way.

As we progress through our lives it is important to remember that we can influence where our life leads us. As Audrey Hepburn said, we have two hands, one to help ourselves, the other to help others. Be inspired to be helpful and be an inspiration to others so that they may also want to be helpful.