I live in the desert (Nevada) and as you may know, it gets hot here! Two weeks ago, I was on my way to the post office when I passed a tall elderly woman walking in the opposite direction. I noticed she was wearing a sun hat, and little white gloves and was carrying a purse. I wondered why on earth she was walking in temperatures of 108 degrees! I hurried to the post office and on my return stopped to inquire if I could take her somewhere. When she told where she was headed, my response was: “You’re headed in the wrong direction.” She said, “I think I took a wrong turn when I came out of the library and I’m still turned around.”
It seems at 80 years of age, she volunteers at one of the local libraries and wanted to visit another. Rather than take the bus as she usually does, she decided to walk to check out the new neighborhood. She was one of the brightest, sharpest, and most appreciative people I have ever met. She was alone, her husband had been deceased for almost 15 years and her only child was stillborn. She kept saying how kind I was in this ‘time of terrorism’ and that I could be her daughter. She would only allow me to take her to a bus stop that headed east as she had an errand to run all the way across town. I am still reaping the benefits of the twenty minutes I spent with her, as I remain inspired even today.
Then last week, I was sitting in my car at a traffic light (thinking about the lady actually) and saw on the sidewalk a twenty-something young man wheeling his wheelchair down the sidewalk of a very busy street. Stopping at the intersection, he wheels himself into such a position as to be able to reach and press the walk button on the pole and as soon as it changes, speeds across the intersection. All the while I am sitting at the traffic light in admiration.
All of us have seen ourselves as victims from time to time. Typically these times stem from those most painful and traumatic situations that seem to come out of nowhere and surprise us or blindside us. If it’s true that everything happens for a reason then we are again presented with that principle of “It’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you deal with it that matters.” Being a victim is a state of unawareness, a state of irresponsibility, a way of staying angry. To take it to its deepest metaphysical level it is a way of saying, “I’ll show you God, I’ll show you and everybody else that you aren’t such a good God. I’ll suffer and be unhappy right here on earth.”
Where did these people get their inner strength? What strengths did they call upon to take them past their traumas, life situations, losses and continue with their lives in such a positive manner? It is obvious they don’t see themselves as victims; they don’t look to others to solve their problems (if their means of transportation is any indication). It’s obvious they decided that regardless of anything and everything they would keep moving on.
Moving on and moving up….isn’t that what life is about? This takes awareness, intention, commitment, and persistence.
When you’ve taken a wrong turn or you’re feeling down, just look around you. Miracles, inspiration, examples of courage — they’re everywhere if only you open your eyes. But beware, this type of focus can give YOU a lift, then you’ll be the one to inspire courage in others.
Copyright 2002. Judy Irving, all rights reserved. judy@MovingOn.net 702-240-1866
" My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." ~ Oprah Winfrey