I wrote a post this morning over on my HappyRant blog, and it just begged to be posted here as well. So here it is...
Sometimes what I run across as I'm out looking for something positive isn't breaking news, it's just a story about someone I want to know more about. Like this one about 40 year old Greg Smith.
40-year-old Greg Smith doesn't sugar coat it. His life has been far from easy. Born with muscular dystrophy, he wasn't expected to live past the age of 10. Now the father of three lives to inspire others.
"Not just people with disabilities, but everyone, because I feel like in my life, I've been through tough times, and I've come out victorious," said Smith. "And there is a story that anybody can be inspired by."
There is no fairy tale ending to Smith's story. The challenges in his life continue. Hurricane Katrina flooded their house in Mississippi with four feet of water just as he was dealing with congestive heart failure. He had to live in a nursing home for three months while their house was being rebuilt. And now...
Back home and recovered now, his body continues to grow weaker from M.D. He can no longer dress himself and needs help getting in and out of bed.
"I can't turn over in bed very easily, especially if I'm under a heavy blanket," said Smith. "I feel straight-jacketed at night. I have to condition my mind to just go back to sleep."
But he can still speak, and he continues to travel the country providing insights and motivation through the lessons he's learned along the way.
For me, the inspiration of stories like Smith's isn't just about seeing somebody overcome enormous obstacles. It's about how their story relates to me and my potential. As Smith put it as he was talking about the public's perception of the disabled...
"We don't feel sorry for ourselves, so you shouldn't either," he said. "In fact, I view the lessons I've learned from my disability as an opportunity to teach other people what they can do, and what's inside their spirits as human beings."
Each of us has amazing potential. Most of us, truthfully, don't come anywhere close to embracing it. Stories like Smith's serve to shake us out of our little world of perceived barriers and restrictions, and remind us to reach for something bigger.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM