For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.
Among my other moldy piles of regrets, I rue the hours I spent watching aimless, inane television programs because I couldn't find anything better to do. It was before the days of the science and history channels and the banquets served up by the networks were of feeble fare.
Years ago, when I was a teenager, I met a young woman named Jane. She had a particular physical problem, I don't know what it was, I wasn't interested in knowing, that confined her to what resembled a large baby carriage. When she was awake she was unable to control her arms and legs. They would continually move in a twisting manner. She was always well dressed (I never asked her about that), she had a pleasant face, with bright eyes, a pretty smile and a focused mind..
I would sometimes stop by for a visit on my way home from school. I enjoyed sitting by her crib and having a talk. I don't know how she got her learning, probably partly from asking pertinent questions, but she seemed to know a lot about almost everything. Our conversations were always pleasant and interesting.
She lived in a nice home with her parents and, I think, some siblings. Whenever she went out she had to be pushed in her conveyance, or carried. But her parents were determined she wasn't going to miss out on life just because she couldn't take care of herself.
After high school we moved away and I never saw her again. A few years later I heard that she got married which didn't surprise me in the least. She was one of the most vividly alive people I ever knew.
Who doesn't have problems in life? There is an army of things lined up in rank and file to deprive us of our vitality and joy. People like Jane are a lesson in life, as are people like Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking, and all ordinary people who live the supreme triumph of full lives no matter what.
DB - The Vagabond
You're at the end of a dark tunnel.. There is no turning back. The way out is through one of three doors. Behind the first door is a pack of fierce hungry tigers that haven't been fed in a month. Behind the second door is a raging fire. In front of the door is a large bucket of clear liquid which is either water or gasoline. Behind the third door are a bunch of assassins with daggers, swoon to kill anyone who opens the door but they are all blindfolded. Once you open one of the doors you can't close it and change your mind.
Which door do you choose? Why?