For today’s Monday Morning Mail, I am departing from writing about who and what inspires me this week, to share people who inspire many others who are close to me.
I asked my wife Lisa who inspires her and Charlie Chaplin made it to the top of her list. She commented, “I have been watching old Charlie Chaplin movies lately. This actor, more than 100 years ago, did not use words, but could take the audience into the world of his people. If you know his background, he used to be homeless, sleeping on the streets, but despite those challenges he brought pure joy to many through his films for more than a hundred years!” Here’s a short bio video if you have the time.
My daughter, Jacquelin, shared with me that Oprah Winfrey is her truly inspirational model, given how much she overcame to be at the center of society today. (Author note: Oprah is truly inspirational, and I remember a high school friend, Gail Baron, telling me how she bumped into Oprah at a hotel one day, and Oprah learned Gail was traveling with her mom who was having a birthday, and Oprah sent flowers to their room. How is that for random acts of kindness!)
Samuel’s inspirational role model is Charlie Munger, the 99-year-old partner of Warren Buffett at Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway. Samuel has read all of Munger’s letters to shareholders, and he loves his integrity, principles, philosophies, and wit. We recently found out Charlie Munger lives in LA, and Samuel frequently passes by his house for a chance sighting.
Acts of Heroism
My sister, Dana, listed Corrie Ten Boom among her favorites. For those that don’t know her, Corrie Ten Boom (15 April 1892 – 15 April 1983) was a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was imprisoned for her actions. She wrote a book, The Hiding Place, which won critical acclaim, describing her story. Here’s a video about Corrie Ten Boom if you have the time.
My aunt, Ricia Scharf, who is my only living aunt, wrote this to me: “Scott, so interesting of a question. The very first thought and person that came to my mind when I read your question was my sister-in-law, Maxine Kronick, YOUR MOM! MY very special person, unique, quirky, unconventional, fashionista, genuine friend, wonderfully outspoken, and I could go on and on, was Maxine Kronick. Probably not realizing it at the time, but she had influenced me in many ways, especially my individual mindset of the way I am CHOOSING to live my senior years. One thing I will always remember that she impressed on me was that a person CHOOSES to live their life as they individually want, and Scott, I really miss the talks Maxine and I had more often than you or your siblings know. (Author note: I appreciate this very much and I also feel my mom was very much an inspiration. Thank you Aunt Ricia!) Here’s an obituary written about my mother’s life back in 2017.
Inspiration From Volunteerism
My friend from China, a regular Monday Morning Mojo reader, and someone who inspires me a lot, is George Smith, who is the Senior Director of International Giving at Orbis, an international non-profit that brings people together to fight avoidable blindness. I first met George through the Special Olympics when he headed this NGO in China. George wrote to me, “VIPs inspire me, Scott, and volunteers have inspired me throughout my life. I was always around great volunteer coaches coaching my children. In my NGO work volunteers were the core of Special Olympics, and today our Volunteer Faculty (doctors, nurses, and other eyecare Professionals) are central to the work of Orbis. My wife volunteers on the Keep Surfside Beach Beautiful committee and I continue to volunteer whenever I can and will continue to do. By the way, VIPs stands for Volunteers are Inspirational People!”
Inspiration From Friends
Finally, Levi, our dog, who communicates in very special ways, seems to be inspired by two friends this past week. Below is a picture with his sister, Ziggy, who he goes crazy about every time he sees her. And, our neighbors Josh and Debra, and their kids Olive and Quinn, who lost Levi’s best friend earlier this year, have a new member of their family, Potato, who seems to have a special relationship with Levi already.
I am sure there are many other people who could make this list. Feel free to share your people who inspire you with me and we will include them. Thanks also for being part of this community and have a great week.