A self appreciation moment

My Dad always forwards me Power Point presentations about all kinds of subjects. He is dubbed in my world as the PP king. Many of these emails have powerful messages about God, life and values or beautiful paradises of the world, social themes and just about anything else you can think. I watch them all because I know it has impacted him to some degree and He wants to share it with me. This time, however, I saw a power point presentation(PPP) that changed my way of seeing things. There are some PPP that you can watch, reflect and forget.  Sometimes there is something that struck me, different from others I have seen and I will remember it later in time. This was one of them.

The story is about a woman who was born without hands. The slideshow presented pictures from her birth, childhood all the way to womanhood going through birthdays, school functions, and other activities, even sports. I watched with compassion throughout the story and noticed something in particular that stood out in every image. There was look of absolute determination in all of the images. She never let her obstacles “disable” her will to continue to move forward leading a productive and happy life.  There was never such thing as an “impediment” to her. She has done all the things that we simply take for granted with her feet.  I watched in awe this young woman brushing her hair, cooking, driving, participating in a karate class, going through daily chores and she  adapted like it was second nature Even more extraordinary, she became a pilot. Yes, a pilot!

What an inspiration I thought from the moment I saw her piloting the small plane, high in the sky. She was flying like a professional, looking relax and confident of her skills with a co-pilot who also seemed confident with her skills. So good I felt that I too would have flown with her without thinking it twice.  I had to watch again to let it sink in. There are no limits to the human being, if you’re determining to go through it I thought. We have everything we need to become whomever we want to be with an invaluable body to provide the means to it and we hardly appreciate it. There is a lesson here that I cannot let it forget. I’ve seen it many times, but this one, this one was different. The fact that she was flying a plane with her feet kind of sold me that no matter what happens to me in the borrowed time I have in this earth, I can always adapt and will adapt by nature to my surroundings and circumstances. It’s all about whether I believe I can or not!

Later on that afternoon I was in my covered patio relaxing and I noticed one of the light ropes decorating the ceiling was hanging. The ropes are held to brackets on the ceiling secured with zip ties and two of them were broken. I decided to fix it right away and immediately went to get the zip ties thinking that it is a breeze to fix. Grab the ladder, get the zip ties, climb up there, hold the rope with one hand, the zip tie with the other, pass it through the loop and tighten. At that very moment I thought of the PPP I watched hours earlier. I stood there thinking how could I fix this if I didn’t have any arms? I stared at the ceiling brackets glued to the ceiling and the light rope and ask myself how? Impossible!

I don’t know how it started, but I was reaching up with only my right arm looking at the zip tie and the bracket.  After a couple of minutes of thinking I closed my eyes and focused my attention to my breathing. I visualized how I was going to achieve it, what needed to be done. I imagine my left arm very light, hanging by my side and concentrated all my motion on the right arm. As I was climbing the ladder, my left arm instinctively went into action, grabbing the rope. Damn it! I muttered, thinking that I have failed the experiment on the very first go. I thought, I need something to replace my left arm and I started to look around for something to prop up to hold the rope in place, close to the bracket so I can loop the zip tie through it. I found a broom and pulling a bar stool, I propped the broom stick with the brush side pinning the light rope to the ceiling. I was short by couple inches. By now I could feel my left shoulder acting up, screaming to go into action. I could feel the tingling and the blood rushing to my left arm as of saying, “Hey, I’m here, use me”. Being the “McGiver” type of guy I am, always improvising with what I have on hand, I found a small item to prop up and placed it  on top of the bar stool, then the broom on top. The rope was pinned. Now to get the zip tie through the tiny orifice on the bracket and tighten.  This proved to be even more difficult. Like threading a needle, with one hand! Finally after several tries and uttering insanities, I made it. I got the light rope secured. Now there was one more left.  This one was higher than the other one because of the pitch of the ceiling.  I used the same broom, stool method and added a large tin can to compensate the height. Somehow, threading the zip tie to the orifice of the bracket was much easier on this one. I was more relaxed and confident to do this since I did the first one. I knew I could do it! I took me close to 45 minutes to secure those brackets, having spent time on the first one’s try, but I did it!

I felt an immense sense of appreciation for what I have and do not value as I should. I promised myself to do this more often as a constant reminder of self appreciation.  To appreciate what God gave me and never complain for trivial things.  I called it my body’s self-appreciation moment. It is quite challenging but it is gratifying to experience and learn from it. Thank you Dad for sharing this one with me, this one is a keeper.