AW

A Healthy Dose of Perspective

In Inspiration and Motivation, Life, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

Things have been a bit chaotic lately.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that I intend to when the day begins.  Such is the nature of life for many people these days I suppose.

Sometimes, when it feels like all of the balls being juggled in the air are going to come crashing down under the weight of the pressures of the day, a healthy dose of perspective goes a long way.

Yesterday, I met a man named Vincent who reminded me what is really important in life.

Vincent was wearing a device unlike anything that I have ever seen.  We got to talking and he explained everything that was going on.  It was kind of personal, but not only was he at ease telling me his story, he was actually grateful to be sharing it with me.

A trucker since the age of 18, Vincent has worked hard his whole life to provide for his family.  He is one of the rare truckers who has never smoked so much as one cigarette in his entire life.  Yet, at the age of 47, Vincent had three heart attacks…in one day.

It’s been years since that day that had Vincent knocking on death’s door.  But he is not out of the woods yet.  The device that he wears is an intricate system that pumps all of his blood.  In fact, he doesn’t even have a pulse.

Vincent’s heart is barely functional at this point, so the device does all of the work for him.  If he had been wearing a coat when we met, I would have never known that anything was wrong with him at all.  He looks healthy – much healthier than one would expect of a man who has been waiting for a heart transplant for nearly two years.

Because of his condition, Vincent can no longer work.  He never expected to be forced into retirement in his mid 50’s, but it happened.

As most of us have learned in life, things don’t always go as planned.  Some things are beyond our control.  This is something that Vincent is keenly aware of, but his wife hasn’t dealt with the situation as calmly as he has.  Understandably, she is worried about her husband, and the financial implication of their situation has taken its toll on her.

Despite all of the challenges that Vincent and his wife are facing, he is grateful for what he has.  And when his wife worries about things that are out of their control, he points out to her that there are people in the world who are much worse off than they are.

In light of what has gone on with the economy in recent years, many people are struggling.  Vincent pointed out that there are people living in the area who no longer have a roof over their heads or know where their next meal is coming from.

Vincent is grateful for his loving family.  He is grateful to have what he needs to survive, and spends no time bemoaning his lot in life.  His spirit is something that should be admired.

Of course, Vincent is human and does feel deprived of certain things, but none of them are materialistic.  He misses being able to swim with his grandchildren and the ability to go out fishing on a boat.  But these are sacrifices that he is happy to make if it means that he gets to live and be there with those who are closest to him.

Time flew by during our conversation, and before I knew it, I had spent nearly an hour talking to Vincent and his wife as if they were friends and not strangers who I had just met.

When they found out that I was originally from New York, we got into a conversation about 9/11.

After everything that they shared with me, I felt very comfortable sharing my up-close-and-personal account of the events of that tragic day with them.

As I walked away, I couldn’t help but think about how grateful Vincent is for the things that he has in life.  He cherishes every day, and doesn’t waste time worrying about the things that he can’t control.

Life can be challenging at times, especially in the current economic environment, but as Vincent pointed out, there are a lot of people who have things far worse than he does.  His outlook on life definitely gave me a healthy dose of perspective.

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  1. I remember a past client who would whine and complain about how tough he had it and it was honestly really hard to take because he had life made! Happy New Year buddy! Hope you and yours are doing fabulously.

  2. What a wake up call! Thanks for sharing…yes, the glass is 1/2 full. And blessings to Vincent and his family! Sending much love to ya’ll.

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