Two people who inspired me this week | People
Something that has always been a blessing to me in my professional life, is the different people I meet from day to day, just by virtue of working for a television news station - but also by chance. I've met people from all walks of life with complex life stories and sometimes very public struggles. This week I met with two individuals who not only impressed me, but also left me inspired.
A chance visit to my mom's house last weekend, and I was face to face with Chris Gardner. His life story is detailed in the book, and later movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness." Gardner was once homeless, living on the streets of San Francisco while raising his young son. He eventually went on to become the CEO of his own stock brokerage firm. Gardner tours the country telling people about his life and overcoming adversity. He was down, but he never counted himself out. Gardner is a natural instructor. I could tell by the way he gently lectured my six-year-old daughter on the importance of a handshake. She took the lesson to heart. But, as he shared some of his life experiences with my family, it struck me that he was a man who was willing to share his private pain in an effort to give others hope of overcoming their private pain.
And then there was a planned visit with Caroline Kennedy. She stopped in Memphis on Wednesday as part of a book signing tour, a new book about her father, President John F. Kennedy. The book is titled: "Listening In, The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy." Caroline Kennedy wrote the foreward of the book, which details two and half hours of recordings the President made while he was in the White House. Conversations include the Cuban Missile Crisis, civil rights struggles, and just his own observations about democracy. It's really a fascinating read. Sort of like stepping back in time and being there as the events unfold. But I found Caroline Kennedy to be just as fascinating as her father. Maybe it was her easy manner. She didn't have an entourage, and she seemed to really want to explore the culture of Memphis. She is a person whose personal loses have also been losses for our nation, but Caroline Kennedy has shown others by her actions, how to keep going, gracefully.
Not everyone we meet can or will serve as an inspiration. But when they do, it's nice to share.