As I have said in other posts, what makes people inspirational is that they are ordinary people who have done something extraordinary. When we think of inspirational people we don’t think about them as ordinary because we remember the great things they have done and the people they became. So here is a list of ten very inspirational people who were ordinary and became extraordinary.

Maya Angelou – this woman was an inspiration to so many (through her memory she continues to be). Maya Angelou was a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, she was a poet and a writer, an actor, singer, philanthropist, visionary, a public figure, and a truly remarkable woman.

She is well known and remembered for fighting for civil rights, for women, and for the rights of African Americans.

Through her poems, books, and speeches Maya Angelou has shared with us the struggles she faced as an African American woman. She taught many about inner power and about what it means to be a good and kind person. She taught us that “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya has told us that we have agency over our lives, and yes, we really do although sometimes we need to be reminded of this.

Her words will live on, as will her actions through those of us who remember and practice what she taught.

Chief Dan George – was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band located in the southeast area of the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Chief Dan George was also an author, devoted environmentalist, spiritual healer, promoter and teacher of traditional values, and advocate for Canada’s indigenous peoples, poet and actor. He is remembered for his multitude of inspirational work.

His life changed as a child when he was forced into residential school where his traditional name was forcibly changed to Dan George. As an adult he spoke out and wrote about indigenous issues. His deliberate and powerful speaking voice and the words which he spoke were treasured and simply unforgettable, Chief Dan George was a true visionary.

Gandhi- Mahatma Gandhiwas the distinguished leader of the Indian independence movement in Colonial- British India. Gandhi utilised nonviolent civil disobedience, and his leadership guided India to independence. He led campaigns for alleviating poverty, increasing women’s rights, ending untouchability in the caste system, and above all for achieving Swarajor self-rule.

He has been the inspiration of civil rights movements for freedom all around the world.

Nelson Mandela – a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, philanthropist, and politician, who served as President of South Africa (not to mention that he was the first black president in South Africa).Mandela served 27 years in prison by the South African apartheid government for standing up in opposition to a government that was committing monstrous human rights abuses against black South Africans. He was an incredible speaker whose words and actions changed the world.

Princess Diana – Princess Diana was an amazing woman, she was a loving mother, an independent woman, and she stepped outside of the norms of royalty and engaged passionately in philanthropy and charity. Furthermore, she led by example.

It is the actions of these people and the lives that they have lived that make them legendary. They are gone, but are remembered throughout the world for their actions and incredible work. So I leave you with one question to ask yourself, who inspires you? And why do they inspire you?

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