Of course today here in the UK there is much in The Times about Captain Sir Tom Moore and his death at the week-end. There is no doubt he was an inspiration, especially during a Covid pandemic - but I expect that throughout his life he was probably an inspiration to those who knew him well - his Obituary today reads of many inspirational doings from his role in the campaign in Burma in the Second World War to his devotion to his wife during her long illnes.
It got me thinking about Inspirational figures. Does everyone have one? How necessary are they in our lives and what kind of part do they play?
I certainly had a teacher who I found Inspirational. In the days when I was at school (1937 to 1949) teachers were not allowed to be married - you either stayed a spinster (or a bachelor) or left when you married. I am presuming it applied to male teachers as well but thinking about it it may well not have done because I presume it was like this because the 'powers that be' thought of a woman's place as in the home, scrubbing the floors and bringing up the children - and having a plate of good wholesome food on the table for when 'hubby' came home. We had one married teacher in our school - Mrs Lucas. She was (we thought) terribly glamorous compared with the rest all women as it was a Girls' High School) - and she was a widow having lost her husband early in the war.
But my inspiration came from my English teacher (Miss Ryder) - I adored her and clung to her every word. And I went on to study English eventually, qualified as a teacher and had a career in teaching ending up, having for some years been head of a unit for English as a Second Language, as Senior Mistress in a large Comprehensive School. About, I suppose, thirty years ago, I had a Christmas Card from an old school friend who I had kept in touch with and she wrote that she had been to an old School Reunion and that Miss Ryder had been there. Well into her nineties and as perky as ever, she was living in a Nursing Home. She gave me the address and I wrote to her telling her how my career had developed and how it had largely been due to her inspiration. I had a lovely letter back saying she remembered me and how pleased she was to hear from me. It never does any harm to tell teachers this - they get plenty of criticism - a bit of praise goes a long way.
I tried to think of others who have had a real effect on my life. I couldn't think of anyone in particular although I am sure there have been some people who have made at least a fleeting inspiration. What about you?