Oh the people you’ll meet…

For those of you Dr. Seuss fans, yes the title of this post is a play on the well-known story, “Oh the places you’ll go!” and it’s so relevant to all of the people I’d like to acknowledge in this post.

It’s easy to dwell in the negativity of all of the things I cannot do right now due to my injury. Every single day, I have to actively make an effort not to go down that path, not to get trapped by those “can’t” thoughts because all they bring me are negative emotions: resentment, envy, frustration, impatience, and distress. One thing that helps me through this process is appreciating all of the incredible people that have come into my life as a result of this injury.

In the last two years, despite dealing with the most vulnerable and trying circumstances, fighting so hard for every little accomplishment, I’ve been blessed to have met individuals who have impacted me positively and consistently raised my spirits. I’ve encountered genuine, passionate and optimistic people who have shown they are as committed to helping me achieve my goals as I am.

I have trainers and therapists who prove to me every week that they believe in my objectives and they’re willing to go out of their way to learn more about my injury and how to treat it. They illustrate their passion and excitement to me all the time and they go above and beyond their responsibilities in order to match my great expectations. They read books, watch videos, question their own habits and practices and try new things with me. They do it not because they should, not because they want to humor me or pity me, but because they genuinely care.

There are friends who volunteer their time, energy and professional expertise to help fill the holes of a medical system that has abandoned me. Friends who work full-time, yet sacrifice their Sunday mornings to show up and do core strengthening exercises in my living room. Friends who meet me every week for swim sessions, helping me get stronger and fitter in the pool in ways that I can’t do on land. Friends who donate their healing abilities to give me acupuncture treatment so that my sore and overused muscles can get a much needed respite from the rigors of everyday living. Friends who are willing to travel across an ocean with me so that I can have access to the best therapy I have found. Friends who donate their time to organize fundraising events so that I can continue doing therapy. Friends who encouraged me to start writing and sharing my story with the world. Friends who – before I could drive myself – would get up early and drive me to rehab, spending the entire day waiting for me and then drive me home.

Some of these people I’ve met since my accident, others I had known previously, but my friendships with them deepened. The common thread between all of these people is that my respect and admiration for all of them has hit stratospheric heights.

They’ve shown me that in an increasingly complex world, amidst a “reality-show” generation which popularizes and promotes tremendous levels of superficiality, banal cruelty, and obnoxious self-centeredness, there are people who rise above, who show up, who unwaveringly prove that there is still plenty of kindness, compassion and selflessness to be found.

You know who you are, and I’m grateful to you all.

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15 thoughts on “Oh the people you’ll meet…

  1. Yes, there are definitely people out there who go beyond the guidelines of their jobs and genuinely go out of their way to help in any way they can. Some people are born Compassionate. Others learn about Compassion through their own life experiences.

    But do any ordinary Medicos, (and I’m generalising here), learn how to be more Compassionate in their training? Probably not. Facts, Figures, Science & Reseach would be their main focus in training and then………….experience and intuition in Diagnosis & Prognosis.

    How lucky you’ve been to have such caring, supportive family, friends & therapists, Arash. I’m sure they all know how much you appreciate their love and care, but your Blog is a lovely way to publicly acknowledge their part in making your life the very best it can possibly be (with a SPI).

    1. Absolutely. I’m very lucky to have this community. I agree with you that compassion is probably not as much a part of the training process as it should be. I think it’s been proven with studies that compassion can lead to better healing. I felt the need to recognize these people in this last post. Thanks for your comments. 🙂 -AB

  2. What a wonderful post, you have so many found blessings in those around you. 🙂 It’s a good reminder to me to make sure I am living a life of gratitude and seeing the world through thankful eyes, so Thank You! Sending you healing energy!

  3. Amen to gratefulness for those that come out of the woodwork when the need is great, especially when unprompted. These are people, I think, that recognize that we are a human family.

    1. Very well said bro. A “human family” indeed. These people deserve a lot more than a blog post worth of recognition but we’ll start there. 🙂 -AB

  4. Thanks for sharing your feelings of gratitude to the wonderful people who are helping you. Your experience fills my heart with hope for the future of humanity. I have three grandchildren who will be living beyond my capacity to help them if they should have problems in the future. It’s reassuring to know that many people have the “helping” gene born into them. I am working on fostering this type of compassion in my grandchildren, too. Your posts are a great relief from the plethora of negative news so prevalent these days. I hope you will share your experience with lots of young people in more ways than these posts. You can make a very positive impact not only on people who have disabilities, but inspire people to enter the helping community as doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists, volunteers. My husband was inspired to enter the medical profession by his experience with his sister’s unfortunate illness and death. I was inspired by the same experience to change my career path to a medical field that was extremely emotionally rewarding. You sharing your experience will have far reaching positive ramifications.

    1. I’m honored and flattered to read your words. I too think that we need to pay more attention and glorify these amazing people who do good and do it because they want to, of their own volition. There is so much negativity out there these days that it is sometimes important to take a moment and simply recognize… -AB

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