Life takes you through a lot of changes. Success and failure follow a circular path, they say. Medical failures that lead to disability of a person could be the worst kind of failure that a person has to deal with. Failure comes loaded with frustration, sorrow, desperation, breaking down of confidence and esteem and apathy. During my research for a NGO that I am putting up, I came across some people who fought against their respective failures to lead a life that they control, enjoy and look up to. I would start with my favorite, Lance Armstrong. Perhaps the greatest cyclist of the World of our times, Lance lived with his mother and came from a poor background. He struggled all his personal and professional life to eventually become a world class cyclist. Soon, however, before he could take part in the biggest cycling event of the world, his dreams was shattered with the diagnosis of cancer. His was different; he was given a 3-4% chance of survival and very less time to live. The first few days were full of despair and remorse. The fighting spirit soon took over and he started cycling again, falling and fainting at times. However, he never lost hope and eventually went on to win the most brutal race on the planet, the Tour De France. Year after year, he fought and cycled and won 5 tournaments consecutively.
Acceptance of a change, negative or positive is necessary and it is only after acceptance of a condition that a person could find ways to better his life. Eric was diagnosed with the deadly disease ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and was given 6 months to live. Although knowing that the disease had no cure, Eric immediately started preparing to beat the disease. Gaining deep knowledge of the disease, the lets-beat-this attitude and using common sense made him fight hard to stay in shape and restrict the progression of the disease. Its been 20 years since Eric was first diagnosed with the disease and he lives a difficult, but life full of hope, fight and victory. For the people faced with failures, it is important to know that humans are full of possibility and life is all about standing up and taking charge when things are not in the way you would want them to be. As Amanda Boxtel would say, BLIND is Beginning Life in a New Dimension.
“So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
“Ev’ryone deserves the chance to fly!”
–Defying Gravity from Wicked
Amanda lost both of her legs in an accident which led her being bed ridden for almost 17 years. Told that she would never walk again, she struggled to keep up her hopes for so long. However, she struggled each day of her life to try to walk again on her legs and was ultimately successful. These days, she gives motivational speeches all over the world, boldly walking on her legs, rediscovered.
It is for the people affected to understand that a vibrant mind and positive attitude towards every moment of life can be pivotal in overcoming a failure of any type. During overcoming failures, trusting yourself and people around you is the help that is needed to guide through. The faith in oneself, throughout all times is the quality that all of these people possess. Mitch Albom gives a very important message by recounting an experience in his work, Tuesdays with Morrie, (Morrie was an ALS patient) “Its my junior year, 1978, we are in an unusual Sociology class at Brandeis, something Morrie calls “Group Process”. On this day, Morrie says he has an exercise for us to try. We are to stand, facing away from our classmates, and fall backwards, relying on another student to catch us. Most of us are uncomfortable with this, and we cannot let go for more than a few inches before stopping ourselves. We laugh in embarrassment. Finally, one student, a thin, quiet, dark haired girl whom I notice almost always wears bulky white fisherman sweaters, crosses her arms over her chest, closes her eyes, leans back, and does not flinch, like one of those Lipton tea commercials where the model splashes into the pool.
For a moment I am sure she is going to thump on the floor. At the last instant, her assigned partner grabs her head and shoulders and yanks her up harshly. “Whoa!” several students yell. Some clap. Morrie finally smiles. “You see”, he says to the girl, “you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too- even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling”
Life may not be fair always, but everyone should remember that Fighting with all Might is the only way we can overcome all the troubles that we get into. Remember, Dance, while you still have a chance!