Saturday, March 06, 2010

Smile, because...

Well for one thing, generally, we take things too seriously.

Okay, I’m speaking to myself here because when the going gets tough, my sense of humor goes into hiding and other lesser qualities come out to play. It doesn’t always take much either, like just misplacing my keys, cell phone or whatever. I did all the above this week, (cleverly blamed on travel-induced-amnesia), and I’m pretty sure I didn’t do much smiling at the time.

But I was challenged last week by a few young men, one of them being our son. In an email, he related to us about a not-so-good day where he had an “almost-killed-myself”-type fall on ice, and had missed an important exam (he’s due to graduate from engineering in a few short months). In dealing with it, he said he decided to try the approach of just laughing at it and moving on.

“Huh?” I craned my neck closer to my laptop screen and reread the last line to make sure I’d read it right. Yep. There it was. “I'm trying the approach of just laughing at it and moving on.”

*Note to self: try to do same.*

The other young man who challenged my ability to smile amid difficulty, was Bero. He had corrective surgery on his left arm last week. And I’m talking an incision from just below his shoulder all the way down to his hand. That has got to be sore! But having to live with crippled hands all his life has helped him to look forward to this moment, endure the discomfort and, on top of that, wear an arm brace 24/7—all with a smile.

(Immediately post-op.)

In fact, he’s been all smiles, fun, and jokes the entire week.

Smiles through dressing changes,

…through math homework (that this school-oriented mom couldn’t help giving him :P)

…even to wearing his traction brace, which rather than try to hide under long sleeves he wore openly and said, with a big smile of course, “Hmm, guess for awhile now, I’m a robot.”

Talk about perspective!

Dwight and Bero (with his smiley hand physio ball) posing by the plane yesterday. Good bye South Africa, hello Mozambique.)

Dwight helps Bero carry his luggage down the path to his home in the bush.

It's nice to be home again, and we managed to bring back some important items including car parts (from Rick Cogbill’s car-repair-wish-list) so he can finish up his amazing work of giving new life to several tired mission vehicles. Availability of parts (and other things) can be quite poor here and he desperately needed these items. Anyway, as we unpacked our bags and Dwight handed an assortment of car parts to him, he smiled and exclaimed, “This feels like Christmas!”

Ah yes, perspective. That’s what it all seems to boil down to.

And perspective is often just a decision away. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

(Now, back to searching for where I may have packed my little flashlight…)


Patti said...

So true perspective IS everything. Glass half full instead of half empty can be hard to practice sometimes.
Love you :)

ruth said...

I saw a cute card the other day related to this: I don't care if the glass is half full or half empty, as long as there's beer in it! For me though, it'd have to be a latte;)