Friday, October 30, 2009

Against The Wind

As has been said, “Kites rise against the wind, not with it.”
Against the odds men (people) find strength.

I recently spoke with a middle aged woman who had survived a battle with cancer, and now, at a most inopportune time in her life, is needing to sell her home because of the accumulated medical bills. As we all know, it is not an ideal time to be selling ones home. It will mean a major change for her, a change that will most likely take her out of her own familiar community, and a change that she will go through alone, without the help of a supportive spouse.

I have recently been getting to know a middle aged man who, after a multitude of misfortune, self-inflicted, and otherwise, finds himself to be his own best resource for getting by. A man who survived a horrible accident, and the succeeding ravages of drug addiction, he has been an inspiration to me in the few short days since making his acquaintance. This man is not interested in placing blame, or in complaining about how different his life might be were it not for the accident. He is a man who has had a hard life, but a man of gratitude for the life that he does have. It is the difference in his world. His attitude and perspective, I must say, make a difference in mine.

I did not know either of these people before their circumstances, but it is clear that they have risen like a kite against odds that would provoke many others to just succumb to the wind. The wind has enabled these people to discover who they are beneath the surface, they have tapped into the essence of being that kite, into the fullness of being themselves.

In our culture, it has become very difficult for many of us to tap into our own essence. Some of us have been brought along pretty comfortably in life, without the kind of challenge, or misfortune, that these folks have had to face. In a way, we can count ourselves lucky to have avoided such happenstance, but on a deeper level, maybe we’re just a little weaker for having done so. I do know, that were I ever again in a challenging life situation that I just could not seem to manage on my own, I would try and tap into the strength, and the courage, that these two individuals have so clearly demonstrated by their continuing lives and attitudes.