An Honest Inspiration

By: Josie Smith

Some role models are born into influence, others are elevated through their achievements. They all have something that, on the surface level, we desire in our lives. However, the most significant role models are found based on their character, not their success. These people- living in our homes, on our campuses, in our coffee shops- hold the capability to wreck our worlds. Their influence accumulates to more than just a single moment; they have the power to change our outlook on our entire life.

Cue Lisa Witcher. A mother and an educator (Executive Director of Secondary Education, to be exact), Lisa has this quiet authority that could bring an auditorium of high school students to attention or compel you to come clean about a lie you were telling before you even finished telling it. Her combination of sass and determination leaves no doubt that she will get what she wants. And fueling all of these attributes is a deeply-rooted passion for others, leading even those who barely know her to use the nickname "MommaWitch".

However, none of these encompass her most important quality: a brute force of honesty.

This honesty doesn't require you to spout every horrible thought that pops into your head. It isn't radical or progressive; instead, Lisa's brand of inspiration is about lighting the darkness. She demonstrates the importance of being open with where you're at in life. Eleven months ago, in the face of unspeakable tragedy, she summoned a new kind of bravery. Even more than having traditional strength, which was clearly present, she portrayed the truth of her heart. Acknowledging each emotion, she created a blog that sincerely documented her days, while still striving to find one real and good thing throughout the turmoil.

As a society, we are ingrained with the ideals of independence. We maintain an unwavering emphasis on the individual, in which respect is earned through preserving pride and overcoming obstacles without help. As a result, how often do we respond to “How are you?” with “I’m great!” when inside we are so far from okay? In attempt to handle our troubles on our own with a façade that our lives are easy or perfect, we end up feeling isolated and utterly alone.

Whether you are flying through the clouds, or hiding within the deepest depths, or struggling somewhere in the waves, it’s okay. It is okay to be stunningly happy, and it is also okay to be broken beyond comprehension. Most importantly, it’s always okay to let the world and your community know the truth about it.