Yesterday on CBC Radio’s Sounds Like Canada, Shelagh Rogers interviewed Paul Rosen. Paul Rosen is the goaltender for Canada’s Sledge Hockey team, and is getting ready to head over to Turin to compete in the Paralympics.
Rosen is an amputee, having lost his leg to a persistent bacterial infection. Very early on in his new life as a one legged man he adopted a very positive outlook. His doctors were suspicious and sent him to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. At that consultation, Rosen took some water and poured it on his stump. He said to the doctor “I can water this stump five times a day for the rest of my life and the leg won’t grow back.
Faced with that reality, there were only two options: become depressed, or see the amputation as an opportunity to be a better person. Fully aware that neither option would bring back his leg, he opted for the second one.
You can hear the full interview with Paul Rosen here (opens a RealMedia file)
On the ferry coming home today I was talking with a friend who was trying to adopt a positive attitude but who thought that doing so was glossing over the reality of pain and suffering in the world. He said that he couldn’t see the glass as half-full, only half-empty. We talked for a while and I asked him what was actually true about the half full glass. We agreed that what was actually true was that an 8oz glass has 4oz of water in it. Whether you saw that as half full or half empty was entirely up to you. There was no more truth to one story than the other. Believing one over the other was not going to change the fact that there is only 4oz of water in that 8oz glass.
This is the difference between truth and stories. And so confronted with these two competing stories, why not choose the one that serves life?
[tags]paul-rosen, sledge-hockey, paralympics, stories[/tags]