“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked. When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped.
The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.
When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.
He blurted out the tragedy. “A boy, a big boy… called me a freak.”
He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music.
“But, you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.
The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done?
“I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.
Whereupon, the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.
Then his father said, “You are going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But, it’s a secret who it is.”
The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later, he married and entered the diplomatic service.
“But, I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.”
“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but, the agreement was that you are not to know… not yet.”
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come. It was one of the darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother had no outer ears.
“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?”
Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what can be seen, but in what cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what is done and not known.
Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood."
Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or... I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.
Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Michael said.
"Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."
I reflected on what Michael said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," Michael replied.
"Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or... I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
Michael continued, "... the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael.
"She asked if I was allergic to anything.
'Yes, I replied.'
The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."
Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead!"
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
LIVE IS ABOUT THE LITTLE CHOICES WE MAKE EVERY DAY !