Admittedly, my self esteem has suffered a bit as my body has wasted away, bearing the marks and shadows of the battle I fight, adorned with tubes and equipment that allow me more days. It’s rare I find myself out in public, but when I do, I find myself self-conscious, and aware of people’s curious stares.
Friday I was wrapped in my oxygen tubing, puffing and stumbling as I rolled my red hand-me-down walker through the door of the clinic. As soon as I scooted through the threshold there was a squeal. “Cooooool! You’re amazing!!!” I looked down to see a tiny spectacled girl staring up at me with a huge grin and a look of awe painted across her face. As I eased myself into a chair in the waiting room, she planted herself directly in front of me and continued to smile and admire my equipment.
Our encounter did not end before she excitedly took my walker for a test run back and forth, back and forth across the room, and my dear friend had her sit on it and pushed her whirling in donuts while she giggled and cheered. She left the room pink-cheeked and still grinning.
What if. What if we all were brave enough to make eye contact, to give a smile and a compliment to the things that puzzle us? What if we looked upon the marks of others’ suffering and found the parts that could make us smile? I think it would be a very bright world indeed.
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