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Breathe 呼吸

Breathe 呼吸

Do you see the dark dark sky or do you see the beautiful sunset? Do you see the black horizon or do you see the light shining through?

I've always been fascinated by life and people and the ability of the human spirit to rise above even the most difficult of life situations.

Even back when I was the smallest of girls I saw complaining just for the sake of complaining a waste of energy, a waste of breath. All I knew was I wanted to be happy and that happiness would always be directly dependent on my attitude towards life. Happiness was about taking a negative situation and turning it into a positive one.

And that has never changed.

About a year ago, I saw the trailer for #Breathe2017. I knew it was a film I wanted to see. But time escaped me. This week I noticed it on Netflix and yesterday I finally sat down to watch it. It is the true story of Robin Cavendish. Struck down with polio at the age of 28 he was given 3 months to live. Completely paralysed and dependent on a respirator to stay alive.

His outlook on life was second to none.

He wanted to live. He wanted to be alive. Truly alive.

Not in the back on the van like a piece of second-class luggage. No, up front and enjoying a front row seat with everyone else.

And so that's exactly what he did.

In choosing to live, he opened the way for others to live too. At a time where a life in hospital, attached to a machine was his only option for life, he discharged himself and went home. At a time where life in bed, attached to a machine was his only option for life, he designed a chair with a fitted breathing machine that could take him outdoors. At a time where life in a chair, attached to a machine was his only option for life, he adapted a van (front row seat!) that meant he could go places and live.

Yet even with such breakthroughs, he still met with criticism and people who didn't welcome them with open arms.

But he kept going.

Entering the hospital where people with his condition received the "very best" in treatment was like entering a utopian prison. As all eyes turned on him, he was asked to leave, question of giving "false hope". That only served to push him further and advocate for more. He succeeded.

All this wouldn't have been possible without the lifelong support of his friends, his family and especially his beautiful wife. The two of them had a deep 默契 or connection and mutual complicity, at a level... let's just say if one day I am in a relationship again, this is what I would aspire to. The freedom to love at your very deepest The freedom to live at your very fullest The freedom to hurt at your very lowest

We don't need to compare. We cannot compare. We all have our life trauma and pains in varying degrees. The real question is though, do we let them hold us back? Do we let our fears and our pain stop us from moving forward? Do we let the fact we were bad at a subject in school stop us from embracing it and being good at it in the future? What if we were to take new paths? What if we were to listen to that voice, perhaps even a stranger, pushing us in a new direction? Some may call it 缘分 or destiny. Who knows if that is true, but through it you may also become the one to lead others to new possibilities, new freedoms! Never underestimate adversity. The lessons we can learn from it and the force for good we can draw from it.

But only if we choose to keep breathing. What will be your choice? Join the conversation now #keepbreathing #neverstopworking #neverstoplearning #neverstopdreaming #makelearninghappen #discoveryoucan #RuthZannis


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