It has been such a sunny summer that I am toying with the idea of getting an air-conditioning unit off Gumtree as soon as the funds avail themselves anyway (Opportunity cost). Anyway, yes – nice UV rays, some warmth and basically loads of activities as usual. I have been inundated with messages from quite a few distinct persona and yes, in the words of Jim Elliot “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”. I would count myself no fool because according to my pa, I have done only two foolish things in my life, and these occurred in the last two decades of my life so count me no fool. However Jim referred to the invaluable and essentials of this life and that for the hereafter, so letting go is therefore a sign of wisdom. Mimi, thanks for being such a unique individual and wonderful mum.
I had a telephone conversation with a long time acquaintance and she regaled me with an intriguing story which I would kindly want to share here because in more ways than one, we are all faced with this issue of making a choice of what to let go and this encapsulates a whole lot of things – our ideals, ego, material goods et al. So here goes, a youngster was walking along the edge of a marshy swamp when he espied a crab struggling to make its way out of its marshy snare and out of fascination, he spent some time watching it make effort upon effort to get out and like many a kind-hearted soul, he chose to aid the poor creature out of its obvious miseries and so without a thought, he reached out a hand and the result was obvious. With a yelp of pain, he withdrew his hand as the poor crab reached out with its hand to grab his. Not to be put off from his rescue mission, he persisted and with each attempt, his yelp grew louder. After a series of painful attempts, he plunked down by the spot utterly confused until an elderly man came by.
The greatest bestseller states thus ‘in the multitude of counsel, safety exists’ and so he shared his plight with the elderly man (note however that age and wisdom are not synonymous but this was an exception). With a look of bemusement, the man pointed out to the youngster that his was a worthwhile venture but he failed to recognise that the crab had pincers at the end of its hands and therefore was not intentionally hurting him and so he needed to let go of his original attempt and device another means of reaching the crab without using his fingers. With a burst of adrenaline and a quick shout of gratitude, the youngster broke a tweed and reached out to the tiring crab with the tweed, the rest is left to your imagination. And no, the crab did not turn into a beautiful princess who he married and together lived happily after. It scurried away and the youngster learnt a valuable lesson because life is filled with learning curves and choose to learn we must or else we may not survive when life compels us to.
Now, what was so intriguing about this story is how similar to the youngster many of us are. We are confronted with a situation and without a thought, many of us launch into a good-hearted rescue mission without actually contemplating the complexities of each particular scenario because remember we are a population of billions of unique individuals, each with a different purpose and the ability to choose regardless of whether these choices are right or wrong. (And yet again, there remains a few of us, who choose to do nothing whilst expecting the crab to reach out a hand and then we can help – I hate to do this but WAKE UP!) And like many, we are inadvertently swamped by our ill preparedness and reluctance to acknowledge that life in itself is dynamic and so we ought to admit that change or letting go is oft the best option. Take out the old, so the new can come in. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” – Steven Covey
Meeting my Specialist pain Physiotherapist was such an enjoyable time because it afforded me yet another opportunity to learn something new and even as I continue down this path of recovery and healing, hope is a choice that I make every waking moment. Hope that each day will present me with another opportunity to meet a new person and hopefully make an impact in that person’s life. Hope that even as I let go of the very things I could do with ease in days past, I create room to learn new things; learning to use my left hand when my right hand is severely hurting with cramps, learning to listen more and speak less because speaking a lot can be quite painful even as my vocal cords get thickened and I start stuttering, learning to just be still because my back hurts so badly and realise that He speaks in every waking moment of my life. Learning that even the consultants are limited in their knowledge and so basing my joy on their report is an exercise in futility.
I met an outstanding individual today, the Chief Executive Officer of Hope For Justice, an organisation devoted to rescuing lives from human trafficking and modern-day slavery. And even as he shared his organisation’s goals and objectives, it reiterated the story of the crab and the fact that we just have to let go of traditional patterns to reach the many unique individuals there who are struggling for hope and justice. The question that begs answering is what are we doing with the time we are all blessed with – “Think about it. Everyone gets the same twenty-four hours in a day. But only a handful realize the value of time. Make sure to utilize your time wisely. Don’t pursue unattainable goals and remain disappointed. Real happiness lies in enjoying every moment of your life, doing what you wish to do. Build your life, minute by minute, with memories of love, kindness, and courage. Reflect on the words of famous people. Understand their perspective about life, and gain new knowledge.” Anon E. Moss
As I look forward to a new week filled with hope and promise and opportunities, I can only tell myself this “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington, and with each waking moment, I appreciate every obstacle this neurological disorder has placed because in overcoming them day after day, I can truly cherish the little triumphs and enjoy the lives that I encounter daily.