Shania, a 16 year old pretty girl once sat down on the river side staring at the calm water that was flowing through. She wondered how the water could stay so calm in spite of all the ripples that occurred in it. Suddenly, she saw her grandmother come and sit beside her. She asked Shania, “What’s the matter, darling?” Shania replied in exasperation, “Mirror Mirror on the wall, tell me what inspires all?” Her grandmother was confused at this statement. Shania explained it to her. She said that she had to write an article on the inspiration of her life for an assignment.  She told her that she had even googled her inspiration but she couldn’t find it. Her grandmother laughed and said “Child, do you remember the fairy tales I told you? They weren’t just for entertainment.

She continued, “I’m sure you remember Cinderella. Well, the story wasn’t just about meeting your Prince Charming. It showed us that how one day things do end well. She didn’t give up even though she was thrown down to the worst level possible. The fairy god mother symbolizes that however difficult a situation there will always be a door open.”

Her grandmother then told her about Rapunzel. She narrated it to her how Rapunzel used her hair as a tool to get out of her huge Palace and her cruel mother. It’s a symbol that every part of us is filled with inspiration. Inspiration is within us. Our passion, our aspirations becomes our inspiration. For Rapunzel, her passion was her love.

After listening to this Shania asked, “But Grandma, these people had handsome princes to inspire them, what about me? To which her Grandma replied, “You must have heard of Beauty and the Beast. The poor princess was left alone with a Beast. Yet, she didn’t get scared, disheartened or threatened. She didn’t give up her values and was ultimately successful in changing the Beast’s nature as well. Well, isn’t that commendable?

Her Grandmother then continued, “Look around Shania. See the beautiful nature. Look at the trees. What inspires them to live? Every autumn they shed their leaves but then they wait for the new ones. Life too is like that. We have to forget the past and embrace the future. The leaves that fall down act as manure to the ground, just as failed things in our lives act as stepping stones to success. Look at the squirrels. They are so small, but still aim high and climb the trees you and I cannot even think of. Have you ever seen kittens? The cat leaves them alone at a very young age and they are left in the harsh world to find their own way. They get misled, hurt but do not give up because it is always the survival of the fittest. A pigeon cannot stop its baby from flying just because of the eagle. The ultimate challenge is to face the eagle and yet take a flight of courage and freedom. Shania, there’s a difference between breathing air and feeling it. That difference is Inspiration.”

When her grandmother turned back to look at Shania, she saw her lost in thoughts. She asked her what was wrong. She said “Grandma, ever since you spoke I’m looking at your shawl. It’s so pretty. Beautiful, in fact.” Her grandmother asked her what she thought about beauty and the beast. To which she replied “Huh, what’s that? You know grandma my inspiration is Fashion. Thanks for making me realise it.” Well, Shania hadn’t heard any of this but had heard the sound of her heart. She knew what inspired her. Do you?

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