Sustaining inspiration

Danielle Zukowski

Every success filters from a dim light bulb. Obstacles hinder the illumination like self-doubt. An internal voice stabs you with a constant reminder that you’re not adequate. You’re not smart, pretty, rich, creative, fill in the blank. You’re not good enough. You weren’t granted the same opportunities. 

But we have the chance to produce our own opportunities. They’re concealed, but they’re all around. You must seek and find them. Once you do you have to take hold. You have to address the problem and carry on with a vague dream. A dream that you can never lose sight of because that light is very faint. If you don’t feed it with energy it will die out. It can’t sustain itself. It’s your responsibility to make an effort if you want to taste success.

Earlier this week I began volunteering at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. This hospital makes back-bending efforts to recreate a life for the disabled. Every day consistencies have been shattered by their accidents. Relearning to walk, write or perform any other routine task that we take for granted is an ugly process. Imagine losing a skill you’ve had since you were a child. Each step, each word is now a milestone.

This organization is the epitome of what it means to be successful. Through hard work and determination they reached their goal. It began with an issue – the need for medical assistance for the poor. The founders worked with what they had, relying on American ingenuity. They did not expect for an opportunity to fall into their lap. 

Through the genuine desire to help the less fortunate they developed an idea. They asked everyone named Mary and anyone who knew someone named Mary to donate money. This, of course, was very effective due to the popularity of the name. The founders could have just lost hope at the fact that they didn’t have the money or the means to make a difference but they didn’t. With the donations, they were able to finance free beds. Hence the name, Mary Free Bed. All these individual efforts collectively bloomed into something bigger. It grew into a reality. It was brilliant and it was ugly.

Now to be ugly, you have to be determined, fearless and have an unwavering iron will to fulfill your goals. No matter how major or minor. Nearly a month back, a very unconventional speaker enlightened the freshman class. His proposal took a minute to sink in but once it did, it really dove down. To do anything greater than getting by, you have to make an effort. 

Being cute only gets you so far. It won’t suffice. The speech engrained inspiration to study relentlessly. Imagery of worn books and pencil blistered fingers sparked, but after a few weeks has the motivation fizzled? That light needs to be fed. We need to be the ones that choose to go to the library. We need to remember that we hold the power to be successful, to be ugly.

[email protected]