Who is Inspiring American Masters Fans Right Now?

Author James Baldwin

In times of great uncertainty, we look to others for inspiration, guidance and solace. We asked our readers on Facebook to share who is inspiring them right now. In our new socially-distanced reality, we celebrate those who help us feel less alone. From artists to family members, here is what you shared with us.

Many are turning to the work of artists and public figures, past and present:

Ruth Beyerhelm: “Billy Collins, former poet laureate, doing daily readings on Facebook. When I hear him read poetry I know 3 things: I’ll laugh, I’ll learn, and I’ll be moved.”

Wade Helmich: “Jerry Garcia as always! Never ceases to blow my mind.”

Cable Neuhaus: “Newsman Dan Rather. His constant social media postings — essays, talks, poetry, videos with family members — are a constant reminder of what it means to love America in an elemental, old fashioned, almost out-of-style way. Dan’s POV is lovely and inspiring.”

Gary Welsh: “James Baldwin……he spoke truth power with eloquence and rage…..Elinor Roosevelt….wealth and privilege did not deter her from doing the right thing with empathy and courage……”

Many responded with gratitude for the healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Jean Kosits: “My niece Emma who is a young RN working at a NYC hospital in what is now a covid floor. She recently posted on social media that if anyone knew someone who was a patient at her hospital to contact her so that she can visit them at the start or end of her regular shift so that they wouldn’t feel alone. Her courage, competence, and compassion in her newly adopted city blows me away. So proud of her.”

While others expressed respect for leaders:

Kathy Nalepa “Fauci! That man is an American treasure! No matter what insanity he is faced with, he continues to provide scientific truth to us all. He speaks truth to power and is trying to save Americans from dying.”

Martin Cail “Bernie. A day after ending his Presidential bid he and a colleague introduced a bill to give everyone free healthcare until the pandemic is over. He’s still fighting and so am I.”

Sherrie Ragan Fleckinstein: “The governor of my state of Kentucky, Andy Beshear. He gives a televised update on the coronavirus EVERY day at 5 pm. He was there Easter sunday. Every Kentuckian knows they can tune in a 5pm and Andy will be there with the truth. He will answer your questions and reporters questions with the truth. He will reassure you and remind you that we will get through this together. If you break quarantin, someone is going to remind you that Andy would not be pleased. He tells personal stories of victims of the virus and becomes emotional. We love him.”

Lisa Nappi “Andrew Cuomo. He has guts. He speaks the truth. He’s interested in doing what’s right.”

Others expressed admiration for their family members, who continue to spread hope and compassion in the face of uncertainty:

Melissa Kelton: “My 13 year old son . . . He has been paying it forward since we have been on quarantine. He has painted rocks and placed them all around our community. He filled easter eggs with candy and sweet messages and delivered them to our hospital. He made easter bags for all the neighbors on the street, leaving them at their doorsteps. He is also fighting an immune disorder that he was born with but continues to bless and share and give to others unconditionally.”

Susan Everett Bailey: “My sister, Sandra, who continues to make masks to donate to anyone who asks! Every time she thinks she is out of supplies she manages to brainstorm solutions. Before she started making masks she crocheted and donated THOUSANDS of caps for chemo patients and premature babies, again to anyone who asked.”

Adele Schoterman: “My grandmother, my Nan! In 1918 she was a 17 yo woman with a newborn baby, my mother. She lived in Manhattan and her husband, Pop, was a farrier in Manhattan. Millions died from the Spanish flu that year, and Manhattan was hit hard!
They managed, and their over 100 descendants today testify to that.
Let’s just carry on, and look forward, shall we?”

Many readers have gained a new appreciation for their four-legged companions:

Nathan Kozlovsky: “My dogs (puppies). They are simplistic. They are constant reminder of what loyalty and love is. They never waiver from our trust. Throughout this uncharted time they help navigate with patience. When the day is done I have two companions that don’t judge and ready to be by my side no matter my state.”

Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us!