I had an amazing experience almost four years ago when my family and I visited South Dakota one summer. We went to a church one Sunday morning, and there was a deaf girl in the front row, with her interpreter near the alter. I remeber watching the interpreter during the Worship and Praise session of the service, and thinking about the girl.
There's such an amazing spirit and genuine quality about a deaf person that really transcends the human condition and speaks beyond multitudes. I don't recall if this one event solely persuaded me to learn more about deaf people and gain a greater respect for them, but it indeed had a profound impact on me, in terms of a form of communication and emotion that cannot be expressed in words.
I am always inspired by such qualities and emotions in people and in other forms of communication and art, whether it's a moving picture, a song or score, a photograph, a poem or letter, or a simple handshake, a smile, or a hug. One person who continues to have a profound impact on the film industry through his written reviews is veteran film critic Roger Ebert. After losing his voice to cancer almost three or four years ago, Ebert continues to write film reviews for the Chicago Sun Times, and currently has a new show on PBS titled "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies." And even though I'm not one for always agreeing with what film critics say, I find Ebert's continued prolific work and ethic to be very inspiring. This is also true of writing, in that the power of the written word can be just as great as the person who speaks (or is unable to speak) it. This is a great reason for which I love writing, and I hope it continues to be so with the work I continue to write, honestly and passionately.