Monday, February 16, 2009


Sequel to Pause and Ponder sl no. 2

Please visit my last post first AND the comments, for reference, if you have not yet visited that.

A few days back, I received by email from my dear friend Veera, an inspirational story, which I am sharing below. I am amazed to discover how candidly and succinctly this real life story exemplifies what John Wooden might have tried to convey when he said “ Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do “. In fact, my own interpretation also leans heavily on this line of thinking, that advocates building on your strength and not letting your weak zone keep you blind to your strengths or too depressed to work on what you can. Most certainly, it does not say that you should not try the uncertain – that would amount to shifting the real focus of the thought from “ what you can” to “ what you can not”. It just says, do not bother too much if you can not do a few things – you still are endowed with unlimited potential and extra-ordinary talent in some other fields – try & find those out, work on those and be all that you can be, be all that you are here for !! And yes, it is most important to realize that it is not arrogance about our talents but an attitude of gratitude, which will awaken us to our true potentials through difficult times.

I am extremely thankful to my on-line friends for having pondered over this and brought out the perspectives from various angles. ( Hey, I find this way of blogging very interesting and very enriching as we get to benefit mutually when so many minds open up on a particular thought with new perspectives, newer dimensions!! Great. Further, as I am virtually hopping around now from place to place, and do not have the time for detailed posts ( I must admit, I can not write at lightening speed like some of my blogger friends do like Daphne, Middleway, Lifemadegreat etc. ); so this way, at least my blog won’t die !! Hence this PnP series. )

The Patrick Henry Hughes Story
[ Credit : Veera, my dear friend & Source of the story :]

[ “The date was July 16, 2008. It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting in my hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky. I was scheduled to speak that evening for the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). I was a little "down in the dumps." I hadn't gotten to exercise lately because of my traveling schedule and recently I'd experienced some mild bouts of vertigo (that inner ear condition that can cause the room to start spinning.) You got it...speaking and "spinning" are not good partners!My keynote presentation was scheduled for 7:00 PM, but I had been invited to show up at 6:00 to see a performance they said I'd enjoy. Little did I know that I was about to see something I would never forget.They introduced the young musician.
Welcome...Mr. Patrick Henry Hughes. He was rolled onto the stage in his wheelchair, and began to play the piano. His fingers danced across the keys as he made beautiful music. NEW RELEASE:He then began to sing as he played, and it was even more beautiful. For some reason, however, I knew that I was seeing something special. There was this aura about him that I really can't explain and the smile...his smile was magic!About ten minutes into Patrick's performance, someone came on the stage and said..."I'd like to share a 7-minute video titled, The Patrick Henry Hughes story." And the lights went dim.Patrick Henry Hughes was born with no eyes, and a tightening of the joints which left him crippled for life. However, as a child, he was fitted with artificial eyes and placed in a wheelchair. Before his first birthday, he discovered the piano. His mom said, "I could hit any note on the piano, and within one or two tries, he'd get it." By his second birthday, he was playing requests (You Are My Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). His father was ecstatic. "We might not play baseball, but we can play music together."Today, Patrick is a junior at the University of Louisville. His father attends classes with him and he's made nearly all A's, with the exception of 3 B's He's also a part of the 214 member marching band. You read it right...the marching band! He's a blind, wheelchair-bound trumpet player; and he and his father do it together. They attend all the band practices and the half-time performance in front of thousands. His father rolls and rotates his son around the field to the cheers of Patrick's fans. In order to attend Patrick's classes and every band practice, his father works the graveyard shift at UPS. Patrick said..."My dad's my hero."But even more than his unbelievable musical talent, it was Patrick's "attitude of gratitude" that touched my soul. On stage, between songs, he would talk to the audience about his life and about how blessed he was. He said, "God made me blind and unable to walk. BIG DEAL! He gave me the ability...the musical gifts I have...the great opportunity to meet new people." When his performance was over, Patrick and his father were on the stage together. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered for over five minutes. It gave me giant goose bumps!My life was ready to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. I needed a hero, and I found one for the ages. If I live to be a hundred, I'll never forget that night, that smile, that music, but most importantly, that wonderful "attitude of gratitude."I returned to Chicago and shared Patrick's story with my wife, my friends, and our team at Simple Truths. About two weeks later, I received a letter from a friend. He said, "Mac, I don't know who said it, but I think you'll love this quote." "Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain!"I thought...that's it! We all face adversity in our life. However, it's not the adversity, but how we react to it that will determine the joy and happiness in our life. During tough times, do we spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, or, can we, with gratitude...learn how to dance in the rain?It almost sounds too simple to feel important, but one word...gratitude, can change your attitude, thus, your life, forever. Sarah Breathnack said it best..."When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present....we experience heaven on earth." ]

That’s it - do not focus too much on what is missing , what you are weak in, what you can not do …. ; Count your blessings, be grateful for what you have, what you are naturally talented in, what you can do … and give your best.

I strongly feel that if we get these perspectives clear - especially the younger generation in their formative stage- much of human despair and suffering can get converted to creative and constructive action. I love visualizing that world !!


Asha said...

We have a saying in southern US. "Count your blessings".
That's how everybody should think, instead of moaning and groaning about what we don't have and can't get! Happy Monday to you! :))

snigdha said...

That's it, Asha - let's count our blessings ! This is perhaps one of the commonest sayings which is followed more in its breach then practice. Thx dear .

Liara Covert said...

Just when a person thinks life is over, new sources of inspiration present themselves to remind a person the joy of being alive. As a person learns there is more to life than initial assumptions, then happiness is rediscovered within the self, wherever you are.

snigdha said...

Thx Liara, for dropping by and sharing yr thought. "joy of being alive" - wonderful point made there ! I am very excited to have found your site - many insightful posts there.

Deba said...

The story is really inspiring. In the quotation “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass… it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” lies the true principle of leading a happier and thus, successful and peaceful life. It indicates a positive approach. We are so inclined to negativity presently that more often than not we first see the darker side of a thing and so ponder over it to produce more and more negative thoughts and vibrations. The more the negative vibrations, the more unhappiness engulf the mind. In the absence of positivity, one can never achieve contentment, no matter how wealthy he is or whatever big post he holds.

Positive thinking is a vital prerequisite for a happy life. Unless and until one feels contended with whatever one has, one cannot lead a happy and peaceful life. It is said, when one is contended with whatever he has, he stops growing further. But, I truly feel that man starts growing only when he feels contended. With contentment, comes a positive approach, a new outlook, an improved vision, when man looks at the brighter part of the thing and tries to make the whole thing brighter. He takes better decisions. He accomplishes his job in a better manner. In this way, he rises further and further. On the other hand, if someone starts looking at the darker part, he feels embarrassed and then found himself being embraced by sorrows, pain and ultimately suffering. In this way he falls down deeper and deeper.

Some people say, we have born to suffer. However, no one is born to suffer. If we are suffering then that is only due to our negative attitude, uncontrolled mind, incessant desire, ambiguous thought, lack of determination and dedication, etc. We can get our despair and suffering converted to creative and constructive action by changing our outlook, our thought process and attitude.


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