Life Teaches–Do We Listen?
Debilitating accidents and disabilities were the furthest thing from my mind. I was a teenager in love with the kind of girl dreams are made of. This alone is good enough, but I had even more. I was a teenager in love with his girl, his car, his motorcycle and his job. For me, life was over the top cool. I knew nothing of sudden, dramatic changes.
The disabling motorcycle crash that left me brain damaged, half full of paralysis and co mpletely full of fear not only changed me, it set me on a trail of self discovery that replaced my bad Attitude with a willingness to listen and learn to accept life on life’s terms.
The bus I took to therapy started slowing when it got close to the downtown stop where I got off. I waited until it screeched then jerked to a complete stop before standing up. I was half way to the door when I realized a long line of anxious to get going people stood behind me.
Grabbing the rail on the right side of the door I started down the wet rubber coated stairs. I felt like I was leading a stampede.
I raised my head, “Mooo!” people laughed. I turned to see their smiles.
Humor Can Be Risky
Wet stairs, a need to hurry, a half-paralyzed body, laughing and not looking where you’re going is a bad combination. I slipped. The back of my good leg skidded down the stairs; my paralyzed leg couldn’t hold me. I landed on my seat and bounced out the door, sprawling on the sidewalk.
Dad and I caught the same bus in from the suburbs. He jumped off behind me and helped me up. He started brushing me off. I was glad for the help, but I felt like a little kid. “I’m OK” I said as my next bus pulled up and a new crowd of people spilled across the sidewalk.
“OK” my dad said. “Have a good day.” He let the crowd sweep him away toward his office.
I reached into the bus, grabbed the metal handrail, pulled myself up the stairs then dropped into a seat. A pretty woman, a little older than myself, sat beside me.
Nice, I thought.
Don’t Fear Falling
“I saw you fall,” she said. “When you got right back up and kept going, I wanted to talk with you.”
I’ll have to fall more often.
We met on the bus two or three days a week for about a year or less. We got to know each other pretty well. I told her about my therapy and she told me she was going through a divorce and custody fight.
She had an entire world of problems I’d never dreamed of. Listening to her story and becoming interested in her circumstances gave me four Attitude tools for happy living. I share these ongoing tools in my keynotes.
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