Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Perspective comes in many different sizes

During what seemed to be a never ending battle with an army of paper, I had... a moment
It seems that we are always bombarded with mounds and mounds of paper.  Papers with important information that can never be thrown out.  Papers that have information that must be saved for ten years.  Papers that give us instructions, just in case.  Papers that have significant emotional attachments.  And the least of my favorites are the papers that can prove our innocence, in the event of... so we certainly can't toss them!
In this particular battle, I had been looking for documents to prove myself worthy.  I am in the process of presenting a community project opportunity and must provide sufficient proof that I am a qualified project manager of such.  So, with this, I thought I would dip into the "I am great" file.
Do you have one of these?
I think everyone should.  It is a place where you can store all of those documents that says you are worthy.  We are all worthy in our own right and sometimes we get down on ourselves and need to be reminded of our little moments of glory.  For me, I have letters of recommendation, awards, and even writing projects from school.  Gosh, going through that file really boosted my spirits.
In the rubble, I came across this piece of writing that is more than twenty years old.  I stopped for a moment because I had not even remembered it - at all!  That was until, I started to read it.  I found it so moving that I thought it worthy to share with you...

When you think of the person who has influenced your life the most, traditionally you paint a picture of a "perfect person".  That person is often a coach, peer or teacher who you look up to and admire, and above all else, you would love to be like.  But what if that person is not someone that you would want to be like, and is considered anything but perfect?  What if that someone is completely dependent on others in all aspects of life?  Is it possible for someone so helpless to influence the life of a perfectly normal teenage girl?

Scottie has cerebral palsy and as a result is severely mentally and physically challenged.  Many people have influenced me, but nothing compares to the way Scottie has reshaped the way I look at life.  Verbally he is not able to encourage me to try my hardest, but in his silence he is a far more powerful influence.  I never imagined that I could learn so much about myself through this boy who is so incredibly challenged.  He has made me aware of all I have to be thankful for and has taught me to be a better person.  His presence has opened my eyes to reveal the true meaning of life and has given me a greater appreciation for each day I live.

Scottie's physical appearance is different from other children of the same age and some people are actually frightened of him.  Differences are what make us all individuals, and should not be feared, but enjoyed.  Prejudice, ignorance and discrimination are what we should fear.  Scottie could never harm anyone, and when I look at him, I see beyond his physical appearance and uncover the most beautiful human being that has ever crossed my path.  His innocence and inner beauty radiate out from his heart to touch many people's lives in a unique way.  It is hard not to be judgemental, yet Scottie has taught me to look past appearances and realize the inner human qualities that truly matter.  This experience has enabled me to work with other people who have illnesses or disabilities and not be intimidated by them.

When I was younger, I spent more time with Scottie, sitting on the couch reading stories.  He always had that beautiful smile on his face and was so happy for everything I did for him.  He is not able to speak and yet there is a great feeling of peace that surrounds him.  I often get frustrated about my goals or ambitions that I am unable to achieve.  He does not have a perfect body or a perfect mind, yet he is the happiest person I have ever met.  He has made me realize that I should be more content with what I have, and although excellence is good, striving for perfection can be the route to failure.  When I am with Scottie, I realize how blessed I am and that I should never take for granted, but rather cherish what can so easily be taken away.

On a daily basis Scottie faces bigger challenges than most of us will ever face in our lives.  He helps me to put my life in perspective when the pressures of everyday life distort my ideas about what really matters.  Scottie continues to run a ministry in his own home by helping people to find what is important in life.  He has helped so many people and continues to touch so many lives without ever uttering a word.

This piece was written twenty plus years ago and still to this day, Scottie's presence in this world continues to touch peoples lives.  I can only hope that sharing this can help us all reflect on the huge blessings we all have, no matter what package they come in.

1 comment:

Ereline said...

I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing it. Isn't it remarkable how we so easily forget the really important things in life and become lost in the worldly ideas and goals of our society? It's the Scotties in our lives that God puts there to remind us that we are truly blessed, no matter what our circumstances may be. We all have a Scottie, if we open our eyes to find him. Thank God!
Thank You, for sharing!