In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.
"Writing about inspiration is a daunting task, not the least because the word itself has been overused to the point of oblivion. The temptation to include wonderful anecdotes of kind acts is great, but seems somehow to just borrow others’ inspiration. Works of art, music and literature are described as “inspired,” as are our responses to them. Clothiers, the auto industry, even furnishing gurus claim inspiration as their products’ genesis. Even broadcast news is compelled to include inspiring moments for their viewers by highlighting members of the community (or the nation or globe) who have done more, shared more, given more of themselves in an uncommon manner or for an unusual cause. These can bring a tear or a smile, but rarely do they truly inspire, in the sense of prompting similar action or commitment. Is this the true significance of the word, or has that been thoroughly obfuscated by its easy application to those caught in the midst of any emotional situation?"
Vacca, Carolyn S.
Verbum: Vol. 5
, Article 24.
Available at: http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/verbum/vol5/iss1/24