How well it would be if we could all live our lives encouraged and inspired, all the while being an inspiration to others.

Americans have many things to think about in these tumultuous times. I considered devoting this week’s column to some of the distressing events our nation recently experienced. However, I decided to write about those things later. This week I want to encourage you to inspire others and appreciate the people in your life who do that for you.

One day last week, on my way to the office, there came a torrential downpour. It seemed as though Father God was crying for us, his children whom he loves.

“Let Me Fly,” by Mike & the Mechanics, was playing on my favorite Spotify play list.

I continued down the road, all the while singing along with Mike & the Mechanics, “So let me fly, let me fly, oh let me fly. If I don’t try I will never know. Let me fly, let me fly, oh let me fly. See how far I can go, and let me dream, let me dream, oh let me dream I can be who I want to be. Let me fly, let me fly, oh let me fly see how high I can go.”

These encouraging words are incredibly appropriate for the American experience these days.

I have written many times about joy and that if you look for it you will find it. Like one morning last week when I saw two red birds. I was on my way to the office when I noticed them. I thought it was God’s way of smiling on me.

Two afternoons last week, when I got home, the birds were giving a magnificent concert. I noticed it as soon as I stepped out of the car. More than just a bird that happened to be singing, one particular bird was singing with different pitches and it went on for several minutes and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Things like that fill me with joy and make me feel better.

It is so important to listen

I listen to people. I’m wiling to have a discussion even with people I know I disagree with. Even though I do not agree with their opinions, I listen and respect their right to those opinions. People are not used to being heard and when they realize you are hearing them, they’ll listen to you all day long ... when it is your turn to talk.

Oftentimes people feel they are not being heard. I recently had a discussion about this with a friend of mine. She said it well, “A lot of times when we reach out to the ones in charge, a canned response is given. It seems like a response to say I got back with you and now leave me alone.”

My parents were askable parents

My parents, the late Paul and Charlotte Terrell, were askable parents. They made everything a teachable moment. They encouraged me and they were always there for me. That enabled me to soar through life, especially while I was figuring out who I was and making decisions about my life and how I was going to live it. They liked hearing about my hopes and dreams for the future and they encouraged me in all of it.

There are many great folks in my life who significantly impacted me, most of whom I knew at First United Methodist Church here in Rome. Dr. Garnett Wilder, Frank Cherry, Martha Lou Riddle, Martha Yeargan, Jerry Bryant, Lucy Kilpatrick, Dr. Randy Green, all of whom have passed away, are some of the people to whom I am referring.

Yet another of these great folks was Mr. Vaudry Sartin, who passed away last week. Mama taught his three children in second grade at North Rome Elementary School. I think the Sartins were in Mama and Daddy’s Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church as well. The Sartins are great people and I am sorry to hear about Mr. Sartin’s passing. It is hard to imagine Rome, especially First Methodist Church, without Mr. Sartin and the other people whom I mentioned. These people encouraged me. They were interested in what I had to say. Far more than rhetorical questions, when they said, “Hey Pam! How are you?” or “What’s new with you?” I knew they really wanted to know.

You are never too old to dream

Dreams keep us interested in life. Our goals in life spring forth from our dreams. I always encouraged my friends, in high school and college, concerning their hopes and dreams in life. When I became a parent, I did so with my children. These days, I encourage my friends.

We should all go through life inspired to be the best person we can be. We should encourage others in their dreams as well. If we don’t try, we’ll never know.

Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, an avid cyclist, history enthusiast, and an ardent reader of Southern fiction. She is the author of “People, Places, and Memories of Rome.” Readers may email her at

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