Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hold The Straight Jacket

I seldom think about my limitations and they never make me sad.

Helen Keller
There are many different kinds of limitations one can face in one's lifetime. Dwelling on them and their effects is one sure way to end up in a straight jacket.

Some people suffer from severe physical limitations, as did Helen Keller, blind and deaf from early childhood Some have less severe, but troublesome physical limitations of some sort. There are limitations of time, environment, upbringing and opportunities. And a particularly insidious form of limitation has to do with failures, things not done or not done properly.

Keller overcame her limitations in remarkable ways, learning to speak, earning a Bachelors degree from Radcliffe, wrote many books, gave lectures, won many awards, traveled around the world and established The American Foundation for the Blind.

There are many stories of people, crippled in some way, overcoming the obstacles and beating the odds against them by accomplishing things that seemed impossible. Those people are inspirations to all of us.

We've all heard of people who were born in impoverished circumstances who went on to become successful. Elvis Presley was born, alive, in a two room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, while his twin brother was not so lucky, born dead.

Paradoxically, there is a limitation to being born into wealth. I've seen examples of it. A boy growing up in a house of rich people, especially if he is an only child, may have everything taken care of for him. There will be no lack of anything. He may be pampered. Until he finally steps out into the real cold, hard, pick pocket world. He will probably adopt a very bad attitude when he sees that people are not deferring to him as he is used to.

I grew up in poor circumstances, never got a college education and was deprived of many things my childhood buddies took for granted. Even so I feel I have lived an active, productive life. But if I made a list of all the things I didn't do that I wanted to, all the things I wasn't able to do and all the things I did wrong through some lack of mine, the list would probably stretch down the street.

Sure, the blind and deaf can crawl into their own limited world and not venture anything else, the poor boy could not pick up the guitar and try to make music, the rich boy could go back home and live in luxury without having to deal with the cruel world.

And I could sit around and feel sorry for myself, regretting all the things I didn't get to do. But I refuse to walk into that dark, sad fog of self indulgent misery. That would be one sure way of driving myself permanently crazy. Straight jacket time.

It doesn't matter what we don't have and didn't have. It's what we do have that counts. And the world needs it.

DB - The Real Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.


Summer is moving along, people.

It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you. Don't let the recent New York State decision rob you of your thunder.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

Only 14 answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.



pacifica62 said...

I get courage and inspiration from my little cat who has lost both of his eyes to the herpes virus. He cannot see ----or so one might incorrectly think when they discover he has no eyes. There is nothing that cat cannot do. He has memorized his house, he knows exactly how far tables and beds are from the floor and he has no fear of jumping either up or down. He instinctively knows how to measure a couple of inches of space beyond my reach when he wants to avoid being captured. He loves to be outside on his leash and has the run of the back yard. He cannot see, but there is certainly nothing wrong with his sense of hearing, smell, touch. Those have been heightened even further because of the loss of his sight. He does not know how to sit around being angry at the world for his lot in life. He lives well every day with what he has because that is what he has to do. We all need to be like him.

Arlene (AJ) said...

What a great read, you've accomplished a lot in life everyone now and then you stop and say "Wish I'd Done So and So", but not worth dwelling on, as long as you have peace in your heart and reflex on all the good you did get to do, that's what really matters.

Beth said...

Ahhh, however...if you made a list of all the things you DID get to do, whether planned or unplanned, I think you might be pleasantly surprised at what a remarkable life you've lived...and continue to live! :)

Beth said...

And really, isn't everyone's life remarkable in a way?