March 28, 2014
Sometimes the struggles in life make it hard to breath. Meet my buddy Ray…and his Marvin the Martian hat! Bet you just smiled...
We all have discouragements throughout life. We all have hard times that cause us to focus inward and feel heaviness of heart. We have something hit us like a flood that brings us down to our knees.
We have some hurt that runs deep, and we just cant seem to get past it.
We hit a wall and we just can't seem to get over it.
We see a mountain, and cant figure out how to get around it.
Some of the best advice I ever got, was to think of and help others, when I'm down.
So, when I'm down, I think of others…
I think of Ray…
Ray is a man in his 30’s (I’m not 100% sure, because he doesn't know), that is confined to a wheel chair, but he’s not just confined, he can’t do anything. He can't extend his arms - they are curled up. He can barely get a finger moving to reach the joystick of his electric wheelchair and make it roll. He can lift his head slightly, but just for a moment to adjust the way his head is laying.
He can’t really talk - he kind of mumbles some things, but if you take some time, you can learn to speak “Ray” and have a sort-of-conversation with him. He understands conversations, I think, but he seems to have the mindset of someone the age of 10. He has a lot of disadvantages, in this life, but he’s one of the happiest people I know. He loves to laugh, and does it a lot!
Ray comes to my church regularly on our handicapped bus, and I have to take time to talk to him, because he lifts me up. He doesn't care that he’s handicapped (in fact, I don't think he even knows it, so don’t tell him). He enjoys the attention he gets from folks at our church, as he rolls down the hallway, running people over - I often direct traffic for him, because he's a bull in a china shop. He finds all the pretty girls at church and makes sure he talks to them, so he knows what he's doing, at least to some extent.
He will sit and listen to you as you talk to him, and when he sees me from afar, he will grunt-yell out a “Hey!” several times in a way that only Ray can. Guess what I do when he calls for me? I immediately yell back and head over to see him and talk to him. Some words can be understood, and he asks about my wife often, in a grumbled mumbly way, “Where your baby at?” I tell him to stop flirting with my wife, and he grins a huge grin, that takes the worries of the day away.
Ray doesn't have a single advantage that I have.
He has never tweeted.
He has never written an article.
He has never fed himself.
He has never gone for a walk.
He has never taken a picture.
He has never read a post.
He has never…
He has never…
He has never…
You fill in the blanks, and you'll begin to realize just how good you have it. His list goes on, and on, and on…but he still carries that huge grin in the picture above.
If Ray is still smiling, still going and has joy, I better not let my little problems get me down.
I said little on purpose, because I don’t have a single problem that’s nearly as big as what Ray has. My problems are little compared to his…
As you can see, Ray didn't really give me any advice, by what he could say, he just lived out his life the way I should be…full of joy!
Sometimes I think the most devastating disability, in life, is a bad attitude. I know many with disabilities (like Ray) who's attitude is their greatest asset!
Did Ray just lift your spirits today?
Who are you impacting today, like Ray impacts me?
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Craig Stumpf (@CraigStumpf) is focused on leadership help, while impacting others. He understands that failure helps each of us learn and grow. His credo is “Help Others” and his blog, articles and social media accounts focus on creating a better life experience for his readers.
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