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Why are so many people so uninspiring?

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InDefenseOfPOMO

You could say that this is my own personal problem. End of thread.

 

That was easy!

 

But my intuition tells me that it may be something more at the group level.

 

In the contemporary world I (or "we") have knowledge of and directly or indirectly interact with many people. Exponentially more people than someone living in a hunter-gatherer society thousands of years ago, probably. Yet, almost all of them are predictable and border on robotic.

 

Some people inspire me. But they are a very small minority.

 

Is there anybody in the 2020 U.S. presidential race who we can honestly say is inspiring?

 

I hate to say it, but in spite of my best efforts to encourage and challenge them most people I am around have little ambition and seem to believe that "minimal achievement is bliss". They do not even try to hide it ("I just read enough of the book to pass the class").

 

Maybe it is nothing new. Maybe it is the human condition.

 

Where are all of the people who inspire? There's 7 billion of us, right? Why so much robotic existence?

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CierraJasmineJ

I'm not really inspired by very many people when you consider "inspiring" people. All those amazing stories about people coming out of adversity and helping others because of it are amazing sure, but I'm more inspired by little things. I guess I do my best to find happiness where I can, because the world truly does suck a lot of the time. I know a lot of inspiring people... but the thing is that I know these people. Basically when I think about it, every single one of my friends inspires me. One of them inspires me because she recently shared something that she went through when we were younger, and I know sharing that with us was one of the hardest things she has ever done, but she did it anyway. I'm inspired by another friend, who had some stuff in her childhood but never shows it, focusing on doing the most she can for all of us, including spontaneously picking us up to go get ice cream when we're feeling lonely. My other friend inspires me because she continues to unapologetically be herself when everyone tells her not to, even despite her family not accepting who she is. Basically, those amazing success stories aren't inspiring because we don't know the people behind them. It doesn't mean that there aren't inspiring people. Not everyone is inspiring true, but if you look at the people who you're close to you may be surprised at how many of them inspire you. This sounds super cheesy, I guess I just like gushing about my friends whenever I can, but I just felt I had to say something.

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Philip027

I thought for a minute on how to respond to this question, but eventually decided I couldn't really be bothered.  Someone else can do it.

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Grimalkin

It's all in what you value. If you don't value any of the traits you see in people, then of course they won't inspire you. 

 

The world runs on the backs of the silent majority. Not everyone can be a king or an artist or an activist. There needs to be a great web of people whose greatest ambitions and desires revolve around family, around friendship, around comfort and peace over teetering idealism. 

 

They're not robots. They have lives that are, to them, beautiful and fulfilling. They seek out the things that mean the most to them, even if those things are just an evening of video games, a church service, a walk with their dog. 

 

When you have no interest in a person, they can seem two-dimensional, because you have no desire to learn more about them. That's okay, but it's unfair to paint them with a broad brush. To you, I would probably be one of those boring people. My greatest ambition in life is to be a mother. Not very inspiring. But that's fine, it was never my life's goal to inspire you. I value different things than you, but together, we both make up part of a functioning society. Somebody has to be out there pioneering outrageous scientific theories, and somebody has to be shopping for baby socks. 

 

I don't need to be challenged. I challenge myself, and reach my own goals, and I am satisfied with that. You should challenge yourself too. Let people who aren't you be comfortable "robots" in peace. 

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Dr. Beat

what do you mean by 'inspiring'? There are plenty of people who can be inspiring, just maybe not in the ways you personally find engaging. Everybody has their own thoughts, feelings, morals, and motives. they just might not advertise them on the surface.

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Sithgroundhog

@Philip027 Inspires me. 

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lazypanda

Maybe some people like a quiet life and feel the need to be happy is more important than the need to be successful and ambitious(by society's standards). 

Let's take the example of Kim Ung-Yong. He was a South Korean child prodigy who was scouted by NASA and worked there for a few years. In his late teens, he abruptly quit NASA, returned to Korea and enrolled in a university like any other normal student(despite already having a graduate degree in some other field). Today, he is just an ordinary professor in an ordinary university, one among the thousands. But, according to him, he is happy. People have accused him of being a "failed genius", but is he a failure? No, far from it.  

I guess there are many people who feel like him. And we have no right to judge them as being lazy, unambitious or uninspiring.

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Hanas

I think I know what you mean in the sense that I believe it is a social construct. i.e. we live in a society where we can't be bothered to do our best often because the competition is more important than challenging ourselves. Striving to be better everyday ... isn't really enough because that can make you too caught up in your own affairs while the world keeps moving, not always for the best - or your best.

I, too, feel highly demotivated and uninspired by most people. I admire people who are always trying to help others, who are good with doing group work or do charity often, not to appear good in the eyes of others but because it brings them a sense of fulfillment and purpose in this big bold world. When I realize most people aren't like that at this evolutionary stage we are in, I feel sad. To most people it's still shameful if you feel happy by helping others, it's as if you have ulterior motives, not as if you're simply not up to living an egotistical lonely consummerist lifestyle and pretending it keeps you fulfilled.

As for myself, I think I was more of a giver back then also because I was more fulfilled, and when you're happy and fulfilled even if you're not rich you just want others to be the same. I'm working in social welfare to pay the bills now and I'm really seeing the other side. But even so - even if I can understand now even those people who are so sick because of this kind of job that their burnout doesn't let them enjoy the presence of anyone which is kinda me honestly - I stand by those ideas. 

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Sally

Why do you need to be inspired by other people?   You could try to inspire yourself to be what you want to be.  

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Homer

Inspiration is overrated.

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iff

I find everyone living their best life inspiring,

I find people being who they want to be to be inspiring, 

I find those who are working hard and succeeding despite difficulties to be inspiring, 

I find anyone who can write and finish a novel inspiring,

I find those people accomplishing things that people told them not even to bother trying inspiring,

I find the good souls in the world to be inspiring,

I find those battling for justice and rights of the under represent to be inspiring

I find David Attenborough and greta thunberg inspiring, 

I find those willing to be there to help any one in need just because to be inspiring

I find people looking for inspiration and finding it inspiring

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InDefenseOfPOMO
11 hours ago, Grimalkin said:

It's all in what you value. If you don't value any of the traits you see in people, then of course they won't inspire you. 

 

Even if that is true there is nothing stopping anybody from making the conscious choice to inspire others.

 

 

11 hours ago, Grimalkin said:

The world runs on the backs of the silent majority. Not everyone can be a king or an artist or an activist. There needs to be a great web of people whose greatest ambitions and desires revolve around family, around friendship, around comfort and peace over teetering idealism.

 

Facing challenges, going above and beyond, thinking outside the box, being innovative and original, working towards the seemingly impossible, taking chances, etc. are things that anybody can do regardless of social class, status or role.

 

 

11 hours ago, Grimalkin said:

They're not robots. They have lives that are, to them, beautiful and fulfilling. They seek out the things that mean the most to them, even if those things are just an evening of video games, a church service, a walk with their dog.

 

If the work that they produce, the lives that they lead, their relationships, etc. are done with convenience, minimal risk, minimal stress, etc. as the highest priorities, I do not know how to describe their existence other than as robotic.

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InDefenseOfPOMO
5 hours ago, Homer said:

Inspiration is overrated.

 

Being open to inspiration from others is a sign of maturity.

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daveb

No one has any obligation to inspire other people. And no one has any right to expect other people to inspire them. To me it's more inspiring when people do what they do because they want to, because they have some desire or drive to do whatever it is they do and are being their authentic selves, especially when they meet some resistance, not in order to inspire others.

 

Being open to inspiration from others means you can find it if you look for it, in many places, from all sorts of people. :) 

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LeChat

Ah, @daveb just said a bit of what I'd planned on saying, as I logged in. Ninja'd. :P

 

Do you mean a "people pleaser?" That's not exactly healthy behavior for a person, always trying to help others at the expense of themselves, their own needs, feelings, etc. I should know: I tried doing this, particularly when I was a kid.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shrink/201210/are-you-people-pleaser

 

 

 

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Moon Spirit ☽

@InDefenseOfPOMO Do you consider yourself to be inspirational? Why put that expectation on others?

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Leilamy

I'm not ambitious. What my work will entail will (hopefully) help others in some manners or reflect my personnal beliefs, but I don't necessarily want to struggle every step of the way for the sake of being inspiring. My personnal life and how I want it to look like would probably be boring as all hell to you but that's fine by me 

 

I don't care about being the smartest, strongest or anything of the kind.

I just want to do good around me, live according to what I believe and make a somewhat positive difference on my small human everyday scale. Get in psychiatry if I can and debunk some mental health stereotypes, possibly adopt to help children in need.

And I'm pretty happy with that thought.

 

Also I want dogs. Lots of fluffy dogs.

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Calligraphette_Coe
14 hours ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

You could say that this is my own personal problem. End of thread.

 

That was easy!

 

But my intuition tells me that it may be something more at the group level.

 

In the contemporary world I (or "we") have knowledge of and directly or indirectly interact with many people. Exponentially more people than someone living in a hunter-gatherer society thousands of years ago, probably. Yet, almost all of them are predictable and border on robotic.

 

Some people inspire me. But they are a very small minority.

 

Is there anybody in the 2020 U.S. presidential race who we can honestly say is inspiring?

 

I hate to say it, but in spite of my best efforts to encourage and challenge them most people I am around have little ambition and seem to believe that "minimal achievement is bliss". They do not even try to hide it ("I just read enough of the book to pass the class").

 

Maybe it is nothing new. Maybe it is the human condition.

 

Where are all of the people who inspire? There's 7 billion of us, right? Why so much robotic existence?

Because human society is more like an ant colony. Can you imagine an ant colony with 7 billion queens? 

 

As for politics providing inspiration, I'd say read Ambrose Bierce's definition of Politics in the Devil's Dictionary:

 

Quote

Politics, n. , A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

 

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Anthracite_Impreza

I'm having enough issues just getting through the fucking day. Sorry to be a disappointment.

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CBC

I don't think I've ever found another person to be inspirational, nor do I need to. I've found some individuals admirable in some way, but they don't inspire me. What other people do with their lives isn't really too relevant to what I do with mine, since we're not the same person, so I don't find it very helpful to look up to others. I'm innately a fairly competitive person anyway, so rather than be inspired, if I think too much about what others have done, I'm honestly more likely to feel bad about myself than inspired.

 

If there's anything in the world that does inspire me a little bit somehow, it's not other people.

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Moderne Jazzhanden

*wiggles fingers on the end of modern jazzhands*

 

Will that do? 🤭

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Whore*of*Mensa

I've met people who inspire me, they're those people who go above and beyond what is necessary. So I can sympathise a little with what you are saying here

 

18 hours ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

most people I am around have little ambition and seem to believe that "minimal achievement is bliss". They do not even try to hide it ("I just read enough of the book to pass the class").

Some people have the energy and drive to go beyond the norm and those people are inspiring, I like to be around people like that because their energy rubs off on me. It can be discouraging to be around very unmotivated people all the time. It's good to try to be around people who bring out the best in you, I guess. 

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daveb

I also find inspiration from creative people, people who make art, do crafts, etc. Sometimes it inspires me to be a little more creative in general. Sometimes it inspires in more specific directions with similar projects. It's not just the objects they might create; it's the people and their creativity and imagination, too.

 

7 hours ago, Moony's Boy Child said:

Do you consider yourself to be inspirational? Why put that expectation on others?

Another good point!

If someone thinks so many people are uninspiring, how about stepping up and being inspiring themselves? :) 

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Moon Spirit ☽
14 minutes ago, daveb said:

Another good point!

If someone thinks so many people are uninspiring, how about stepping up and being inspiring themselves? :) 

That's actually nicer than what I meant by what I said. 😅

 

I was just a little annoyed with them for expecting a ton out of others, when they're probably not really contributing either.

 

I don't think everyone is meant to have a huge impact on the world, or is capable of it.

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Sally
12 hours ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

If the work that they produce, the lives that they lead, their relationships, etc. are done with convenience, minimal risk, minimal stress, etc. as the highest priorities, I do not know how to describe their existence other than as robotic.

I doubt if anyone is asking for your assessment of their existence.  Perhaps it would be better if you'd do a self-assessment and then work on your existence.  

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CBC

People with opinions on how others live their lives. My favourite. 🙄

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GatsbyGirl

Because no one was put on the planet to inspire anyone, no one is obligated to inspire anything.

 

People who cant comprehend things tend to be assholes about it.
 

...And what have you inspired ?

 

 

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firewallflower

Because we're all just waiting for someone else to inspire us to be inspirational. Bystander effect? :P

 

... But more seriously, I agree with what others have suggested, that it all depends on what you find inspiring. I find that the people all around me, with whom I interact on a day-to-day basis, can pretty much all be inspirational in one way or another (and simultaneously disappointing in another, because, well, we're humans).

 

Activists, inventors, leaders... yes, these people can be quite inspirational. But there are so many other ways to inspire. A coworker inspires me by their empathy. A classmate inspires me by their responsibility. A neighbor inspires me by their resilience. A professor inspires me by their dedication. A stranger inspires me by their kindness. An AVENite inspires me by their eloquence. Someone who commits their lives to parenthood, nurturing and raising a new human being? I can't imagine much more inspirational than that. Someone who channels their creativity into music or writing or painting, bringing beautiful creations into being with their art? You bet I'm inspired! Someone who gets up every morning and strives to live a generally good life? If anything is incredibly inspiring, that's it.

 

Most of us won't change the world in ways that will go down in history, or even be noted by anyone outside of our immediate circle of friends, family, and acquaintances—and that's okay. All of us, however, do impact the world in our own small, mundane, personal ways, and if these impacts are for the positive, that's what I find inspiring. :)

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Homer
15 hours ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

Being open to inspiration from others is a sign of maturity.

Okay... now what? :huh:

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