By Mark E. Smith

At this writing, hurricane Sandy is bearing down on us, and it looks like I have to ride home in my power wheelchair in rain and 40mph winds. And, I’m totally fine with that – no big deal. Now, I have other options, but they seem illogical to me. I have over 400 hours of accumulated time off, so I could have stayed home, or even worked from home. Or, I could call someone to bring my van and pick me up. But, why would I do either of those? Schools are closed, and people are hunkering down with storm supplies, but a little discomfort – or, a lot – never persuaded me to stop from doing what’s best for me and those who count on me, like my going to work like any other day, regardless of a supposed looming hurricane.

We live in culture where too many people seem to resist “playing in pain,” sidelining themselves from the game of life, albeit due to emotional, physical, or mental challenges. It’s as if why try when you can just give up? There’s a storm brewing, so let’s cancel school. I’m sick, so I’m not going to work. My boyfriend broke up with me, so I’m going to sleep all weekend. I lost my job, so I’m just going to sit around the house….

No, just because bad things happen doesn’t mean that we throw in the towel, give up on ourselves, make excuses, or stop our lives. Rather, in times of adversity, we should pick up the pace. They make rain gear to weather storms, and when storms hit our own lives, you might say that rather than run and hide, we should don our rain gear – that is, our inner-strength – and head into the storm, head on. After all, weathering storms is how we grow and become stronger.

The next time you find yourself with the two options of adversity – to play in pain with pride, or seat yourself on the sidelines of life with pity – don your rain gear and head into the storm, with courage and tenacity. Choose to “play in pain,” and you will come out stronger.

Comments
  1. Sonia says:

    Mark, I commend you on your outlook and attitude towards adversity and pain (whether it be physical or mental). Your words struck a cord with me very deeply. Although I do not face the exact same challenges that you do, trust me, I have my own. Still your thoughts are definitely a wake up call for me in a time when I really needed one (call it a kick in the pants!). Thank you very much.

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