Sunday, May 29, 2011

Perspective

"There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body; there is no comforter to compare with good will for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow." James Allen

Yesterday I visited two women in their mid and late sixties. They are of marginal means, have health challenges, and limited mobility. One has cancer, and is taking chemotherapy. But... in spite of all this, they have stronger life forces and joie de vivre than anyone I've come across in a very long time. Though their bodies are challenged, their minds and spirits are glowing with health. Many would have crumbled months or years ago. Would have taken to their beds and given up, succumbed to weakness, pain, and despair. But these two had stayed up till 5 a.m. watching mysteries, and had awakened two hours later to prepare food for their visitors. The afternoon passed with a comfortable rhythm of food, laughter, and stories from the past and present. All the while, I marvelled at how neat and clean their apartment was, and I listened intently for clues about their daily and monthly routines. I detected excitement, contentment, and love between all their lines. I learned a lesson during these six or seven hours. They are winning at the game of life. No matter what life has brought to us, now is what we have. There is no need to waste time commiserating. The magic of life is in squeezing the joy out of the day we're in. Life will deliver a mulititude of challenges, but yesterday I learned, firsthand, that perspective is everything. Conditions won't get the best of these women because they're not focused on the diagnoses and prognosis and limitations.

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