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As many writers know, inspiration for writing can come from anywhere.  Of course, finding inspiration for new story ideas can be tough.  Maintaining motivation and inspiration for stories we may be currently writing isn’t easy either.  It can be a two-way street.  Writing is challenging.  Becoming a successful writer is even more challenging.

I encourage everyone to watch the 2018 Paralympic Games from Pyeongchang, South Korea from March 9th to the 18th if you can.

When we watch the Olympics, we all cheer and support the athletes from our respective countries, but with the Paralympics nationality doesn’t matter.  All of the Paralympic athletes are winners and heroes regardless of whether they win a medal or not.  They remind us of our common humanity, rather than our individual nationality.

The challenges they face on a daily basis, in other words the day-to-day tasks that many of us take for granted, are beyond comprehension.  Factor in the effort that it takes for them to make it to the Paralympics in spite of those daily challenges, and it is a truly remarkable achievement.

I’m an English teacher in Japan by profession, but when I watch the Paralympics the inverse happens. I become the student and the Paralympians are my teachers.  They teach me humility, respect, tolerance, compassion and hope…among many other things.

After watching the Paralympics, my problems are insignificant in comparison.  I have nothing to complain about.  The athletes encourage me to be a better writer, a better teacher and a better person.  Above all, they remind me to be thankful for what I have been blessed with in life.

I hope that the Paralympics touches you the way that it touches me.  Oh, and grab a box of tissue.  You’ll need it, but you won’t regret it!

In closing, I want to thank all of the athletes who will participate in the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, regardless of nationality, for their courage and inspiration.  Best of luck to you all!