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“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
Marshall Ferdinand Foch

Often we feel ineffective or incapable. It’s good to occasionally be reminded that we are more powerful and capable than we know. My reminder came from the life of a two-year-old boy.

Through my work at a children’s hospital I met a family whose child was born prematurely and with numerous health issues. Because of his significant birth defects the little boy rarely was able to leave the hospital. Though old enough, he never learned to walk, never learned to sit up, never rolled over, never learned to communicate. It is likely that many would consider it impossible that this little boy had any real positive impact on others.

As I spoke with his mother she shared with me the love she felt for her little boy. She said that this little one was her joy; that his life was teaching the rest of her family how to really live. As she continued to praise the little boy I glanced over at him. Here was a little two-year-old boy in a hospital bed with tubes and lines coming out of various parts of his body, lying motionless, unable to do anything. I looked back at his mother and saw total joy in her face as she stroked her son’s hair.

Her smile then grew even broader as she told me about her older two boys. Just this week she received a letter from one of their teachers. The note praised the mother for the amazing job she was doing raising her two boys. It went on to say that her two boys are the only ones in the entire school who sit with kids who have special needs at lunchtime; that hers are the only ones who volunteer happily to push kids in wheelchairs from class to class.

I asked if she thought her other sons were so caring because of this little boy, the one laying in the bed completely motionless and unable to communicate. She said, “Absolutely. Because of my little boy, my other boys are better. Because of him we are all better, and we’ll always be better.”

This little boy could do nothing physically. Yet, this family came to grasp the power they had always possessed because of him. He taught them to celebrate their uniqueness and how to truly love and live. And because of that lesson they now share it with others through their life.

So often we belittle the impact we can make through our lives. Our challenge is to realize that we each have a reservoir of characteristics that benefit others; that we are more capable and powerful than we know. By embracing the power of our weakness, by celebrating the gift of our uniqueness, and by sharing them with others, we grow wildly as individuals and as a community.

John O’Leary, Rising-Above.com

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