When I was five years old, an elderly man in a shopping mall came up to me as I walked along and gave me 25 cents. I didn’t quite know what to make of it but for the rest of my life I’ve been given/shown a lot of kindness. Is the balance of payments equal to loosing legs? I have no idea. But as a result maybe I’ve not been slapped around as much as the average person, which has allowed me to be/remain vulnerable and open. I think the following experience will illustrate this point. Once on a plane I took my seat and somehow sat in the wrong one. A very irate man yelled at me because I wasn’t moving quickly enough to vacate his seat. He said something like, “You are not a child, hurry up!” After moving I realized two things: He didn’t know I was on crutches and braces and this treatment might be a typical example of how ‘regular’ people are treated all the time.
Maybe in this life the ‘world’ has not beaten me up physically or emotionally as much as it has the average person. As a result I’ve not had to close myself off for protection. I’m able to live pretty much the way I want with few scares from outsiders. I’m not too afraid to express and expose myself to others because I’m not too concerned about loosing anything. I may be naïve but it seems to be working.
But I’m guessing not everyone has this luxury. Woman often experience fear from male advances or power struggles. Minorities who feel disenfranchised must learn to protect themselves. Folks working at mind numbing jobs with no real joy or satisfaction may feel that they have nothing to offer. I see/feel how folks could get bitter and withdraw and close out the outside world- taking their true feelings and ideas with them into a dark cave.
In conclusion, I’ve had a cursed and blessed life. I’m still an optimist and paint with bright colors. There is darkness in the world, which we all go through. But deep down, I know if I keep myself in good shape spiritually, emotionally and physically, I will continue to want to give, share and love life and others. I’m lucky and wish this were true for everyone.
I heard a story from an American soldier stationed in Iraq as a medevac helicopter pilot. He said that the vital signs of wounded solders in the field would improve markedly if/when they hear the sound of an incoming rescue helicopter. Hope heals.
Maybe my story can be like the sound of a medevac helicopter.