Over the years, various abilities and disciplines have served as markers and
reference points. They serve as reminders about controlling fears,
about patiently bearing up against great stress and pains. This has been an outstanding
teacher about being steadfast in environments that change at light-speed.
Practicing any kind of inner-strength requiring discipline is seldom easy, yet it
can show that we all possess earnest warrior strengths.
I learned patience and perseverance by finding bugs in complex computer programs and
designing intricate integrated circuits. And by competing in
an able-bodied world while suffering from multiple physical disabilities. I also learned
patience from a philosophy instructor who told the class, &ldquo
;Learning patience is hard! If you don't make any effort to master its art, you'll be
fighting the odds your entire life. Master it and you'll be on your
way to mastering yourself.”
...I was feeling sorry for myself that night, years ago in Mansfield, complaining
about my having surrendered to use a motorized wheelchair to get around the
branch campus of the Ohio State University. And probably other things.
Emory combed up some hairs and deftly snipped them away. He had been giving me
haircuts every few months for years. “I think you're too concerned about
the wrong things,” he said. “About the things you can't change...
. You don't realize things that are more important and lots harder
That stopped me. I turned and looked back at him. “What do you mean?”
His hands repositioned my head. “I mean, you don't appreciate your real,
God-given nature. That's because usually it's so hard to see. You
r real nature is only a whisper; it hides behind everything else you pretend.
“You'll find your way eventually,” Emory said after a long silence.
“And how you'll know it is because it will be your way. The
n it's just a matter of sticking to that way, to your goals.”