Have you ever inspired someone? This is not a question that arises often in conversation, but when you truly think about it, have you? Out of the few moments where I believe I was impacted the most with literacy, the one I will mention today, was when I discovered my voice after reading a book written by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth. It influenced me to use literacy as a way to help initiate others to better themselves and find their courage.
Looking back on my relationship with literacy, I realize I have always had a passion for knowledge and learning. However, I was stubborn and reluctant to learn about the mundane subjects in my curriculum such as algebra and civics when I was younger. My attitude and thoughts towards school were, “If I don’t pass this class with flying colors, I might as well drop out or fail. If this is what it takes to be ‘successful,’ I might as well give up.” For years, I was left without inspiration and lack of motivation.
Not only was I stubborn as a student, I lacked motivation to excel in life overall. I never had a serious passion that I wanted to pursue fresh out of high school like my friends. I would ask my peers what their ambitions were and they would usually shrug off my question and say that they hoped to be “successful” and make good money in the career they pursued. I was confused with their answers and would soon see them in college in a dental hygiene or studio art program. I would roll my eyes to myself.
I never understood how they had motivation for something they weren't passionate about. I thought it was great they had an end goal, but was cynical with jealousy for improvement (which I thought I lacked) and a lust for success (that I could not fathom or understand). I was frustrated with how everyone around me seemed to be making it through life, without a real drive other than money. I wanted to find a drive that would motivate me to become successful on my own terms, that didn’t involve materialistic contentment.
As I said, I have always had a passion for knowledge and learning, but was disheartened that I had no interests that would bring me this “success”. I eventually gained my “street knowledge” from partying, interacting with strangers, and being reckless. I spent four years getting high on those experiences, as my friends received their bachelors degree. Literacy served no purpose in my life, because I did not put it to use. I gained my knowledge the nontraditional way (which I am thankful for), but still felt aimless with no direction during that time.
One day a few years ago, a friend recommended A New Earth to me. Eckhart Tolle explained enlightenment, and I was surprised that he had written something that I could identify with so well. His words weren’t huge or scientific, but minimal and to the point. I was impressed with how such simple writing had left me in awe. That was the moment of discovery when I found the power of words, and felt my first glimpse of inspiration, empowerment, and awareness.
In the first chapter Tolle discusses “The Flowering of Human Consciousness.” He mentions how humans are drawn and fascinated to flowers, and how their beauty has helped the evolution of consciousness. He also mentions how many of us live fueled by the ego, and how we often miss the point of human existence. Within the first few pages of this book, I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I continued to read, and then decided to write about my journeys as a way to self-evaluate and cope with my problems.
After I found this New Earth, I was excited to share my inspiration with the world. I was honest when I wrote about my own struggles, and turned my writing into a fiery fluency when I spoke to others. I wanted to share stories of beauty, kindness, compassion, sadness, and heartbreak with the people around me. I grew passionate about helping expose others to the deeper side of human emotions that Tolle introduced to me: emotions outside of the ego.
Once I recognized the new passion that grew in my soul, I soon started to help people resolve their personal problems through an online anonymous discussion board. I would talk to strangers about a variety of topics, ranging between giving advice on relationships, school, and work. Overall, I was helping people learn how to better themselves and find their own courage. These were all things I was open to discuss honestly, and I realized that helping others become a successful individual (in terms of happiness) is my main passion in life.
I was labeled as courageous and open-minded. It was odd to me, because I did not find myself as successful, but people started to ask me about my own success stories. I was asked, “How did you find happiness?,” or “How do you find motivation to travel while working full time?” Soon, people would message me and thank me for how I had helped impact their lives and inspire them to do better. I have been humbled by the the sincere appreciation I have received after being thanked for my guidance. This was when I started my real blog, Bloom, and began to share stories on beauty, kindness, compassion, sadness, and heartbreak.
Eckhart Tolle had a huge influence in my life several years ago, and changed my relationship with literacy forever. I was once the stubborn child, who sought after knowledge, passion, and motivation, who then saw Tolle’s New Earth. He struck a depth in my own consciousness, that allowed me to use writing to inspire and impact others all across the world. My ability to read and write has driven me to become successful on my own terms; with hope that I may touch peoples lives, to help initiate others to better themselves, and help people find their courage. I am thankful for literacy, and am excited to explore it throughout this next semester of this class, and throughout this course in my life.