We need your inspiration

Not your information

by Jonas Ellison

I sat captivated. Frozen in time. Everything else was blocked out besides her words that shot off the stage, flew into my brain and sank down like roots into my soul.

She does it mostly every Sunday. Her sermons are so clear, so authentic, so heartfelt, so real — that my mind has zero resistance to them. Like a welcome guest, her message is ushered in with open arms and made comfy by the hesitant host of my monkey mind.

This woman is an expert. Serving as the Senior Minister of our local Center for Spiritual Living, Rev. Liesa Leggett Garcia has devoted her life to studying religion, philosophy, and spirituality — most specifically, the works of Ernest Holmes.

With her resume’, she could easily get up behind the podium and ‘preach’ to us. She’d be justified in portraying the part of authority figure and instructing us lowly congregants in how to live our lives from her perch.

But she makes the choice not to. And it’s the most refreshing, life-affirming, uplifting 25–30 minutes of our week (at least I know I can speak for Alex and I).

She quickly makes her way to the front of the stage, giving the podium no time to act as a barricade between she and her audience.

And when she speaks, she allows herself to smile. To be a human. To crack jokes. To make personal references and wink at her husband (who runs the AV booth).

But the thing that cuts most deep is her vulnerability. She’s comfortable showcasing her own struggles and follies. She sometimes even points out the difficulties of raising a special-needs child. Tears stream down her face as she delivers her point as clear as can be through misty eyes.

Even though she takes her audience through her pain, her message never strays from being positive. She never sinks into self-pity or ‘look at me-ness’. She doesn’t use high, flowery, airy fairy language as cheap window dressing to a pointless sermon. She uses real language and she displays real emotion. Her intentions are totally focused on inspiring and elevating her audience.

She doesn’t add value by doling out ‘information’ or ‘advice’ in a direct way. She does it through connecting and inspiring.

Yesterday, I could feel it in my toes. That’s why I’m inspired to write this today.

I guess my point is, with as much free information as we have at our fingertips today, it has become almost valueless. People today are over-informationed and under-inspirationed.

So, if you’re in the position to…

Instead of teaching… Try connecting.

Instead of showing authority… Show humanity.

Instead of providing inspiration… Provide inspiration.

Talk to our hearts, not our heads. Move us.

We need more of that.


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Jonas stands on his soapbox daily at Medium. To get his meditations delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.