Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The courage to learn (A post to reflect)

I am a very lucky man. I really am. I have had a number of really wonderful birthday celebrations (for me it's not usually birthday, it's more like birthday season! it spans one week before and one week after). I am extremely blessed to have the family I have, my brothers, my parents, my wonderful friends in Mexico, in Vancouver and every other country where I have had the fortune to spend time.

But today I realized how lucky I am to be complete (as a human being). Being able to walk all over the place, see wonderful things, read and speak various languages. I am truly amazed at the many gifts I have received in various shapes and forms. The ability to walk is one particular gift I came to cherish today as I was strolling to pick up some documents near my office.

One of my students and I bumped into each other this afternoon and started a fairly animated outdoor conversation, in the pouring rain and enduring cold weather. After a few minutes, we saw a young lady who was wheelchair-bound, trying (quite unsuccessfully) to get into her car at the parking lot. Due to the rain, the floor was very slippery and it was extremely hard for her to control her wheelchair. Therefore, my student and I ran to offer our help. We held the car door open and provided her wheelchair with a leverage point so that she could push herself into the driver's seat. She finally did get into the car and we happily placed her wheelchair in her car's trunk.

While she was very embarrassed to have asked for help, we were very happy to be helpful. I couldn't help but be completely in awe. I thought to myself "this is a student who faces challenges to transport herself from one point to another, and I am so lucky to walk everywhere I want to without even thinking". If we hadn't been there to help her get into her car, she probably would have gotten even more wet, and the rain was freezing cold. Yet, she never lost her composure, and she gave us (at least me) a lesson in humility and made me reflect on the gifts I have received.

I happen to believe in God, and I often think that God gave me certain gifts to share them with the world. I am very grateful that he gave me the ability to walk. But beyond that, I am truly amazed at how some people have the courage to face their challenges and become successful. True champions in their own way. I salute those people who overcome their handicaps and make something of themselves instead of feeling sorry. By taking charge of their disability, they have overcome it and grown more mature. Thank you for giving me a lesson in how to live life.


Lino Evgueni said...

Have you seen the documentary "Murderball"? It explores a similar topic... but taken to the extreme.

It was my favorite film of 2005.

Marcela said...

Mi comment on this have to be in person :)