When I was growing up, I would get up from bed at 5 am in the morning, (not willingly, but by force) and had to attend morning prayer. Studying in a Rama Krishna Mission school, prayer meeting always consisted of singing devotional songs.
I think many of us routinely read inspirational stories, tales etc. Some us hear inspirational stories from our family elders. Others get their quota of inspiration from their school. In convent schools, there usually is a class on moral science. In my Rama Krishna Mission school, students would be exposed to stories from Upanishads, from the lives of Sri Rama Krishna, Holy Mother Srimati Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda. In addition, in my childhood days I used to be a book lover. I had read many stories from the lives of historical figures, their ability to stand up to a powerful enemy and fight till the last drop of blood.
Participating in devotional prayers, listening to stories from scriptures, and reading about characters from the history, did that make me and my fellow students, many of us had spent as many as six years in the boarding school, any better person? Did all of us became paragons of virtue? Most certainly not. But seeds that were planted in our minds at the tender age of 10 year and upwards, came in handy in critical moments of crisis in our lives. At least we faced a kind of moral dilemma which path to take, the more arduous morally and ethically correct one or the more convenient socially acceptable path.
In nutshell, listening and/or reading inspirational stories alone may plant a seed, but actual transformation happens when read, understand, assimilate the learnings and our actions reflect what we have read or heard. Only when our character speaks, and not our mouth, I would say inspirational teachings have done their job.
The present post was written in response to Indispire prompt. More posts in response to the prompt may be found here.