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May 14, 2024

The Perspective Of A Wheelchair

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Last week as part of a community session I led, I got to hear a beautiful story from one of my colleagues Henry.

As a member of the Rotary Club he does a lot of work in the community and shared about his experience with a special needs kickball match.

He then elaborated on how he supports a program that helps to refurbish old wheelchairs and ship them internationally so that people in need can have them. He said that it’s a dream come true for many of these people and gives them a freedom in their life that they never had.

It was a heartwarming moment, but then it got me reflecting on how differently I view a wheelchair. If someone were to provide me with a wheelchair, it would mean that I lost my ability to walk. It would mean that I was now confined to the limitations of what I could do in a wheelchair.

How interesting is it that the same reality of receiving a wheelchair could lead to so different outcomes...

For me it would appear to be a tragedy and for others it’s a blessing that helps them access a new quality of life.

This is the power of perspective.

Everything we perceive is just the meaning that we assign to a set of facts. We can control the narrative so that our life is filled with more positivity, hope, appreciation, and acceptance.

For example - Let’s say that I did go through something that took my ability to walk. I could feel sad, dejected, and like my life is over. Or I could choose to see the gratitude in my situation, where I have the resources many people don’t have to still live a full-life despite a disability.

This isn’t easy to do… But it is embedded in everything we do. Our reality is dictated by our perception, and this example of what being in a wheelchair means about the quality of someone’s life is a great example of it.

Whatever hardship, circumstances, or challenge you're facing or have faced, you can invite this perspective by asking these two questions:

#1 - What about this situation is really good compared to what it could be?

#2 - How could this be a great thing to have happened to me?

The quality of our life is highly-correlated by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves, so let’s ask better questions!

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