Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Are You a Lover?

Excerpted from Inspiration from a Blind, brought to you monthly by www.ShirleyCheng.com! (I guess you are beginning to skip this every time now!)

Take my love, and do as you wish with it. I expect nothing in return, no acknowledgement, no obligation; for loving you is the biggest reward itself; it gives me complete happiness.

Love, ah the lovely, mysterious feeling. From love, all beautiful things bloom. Let's talk about loving life unconditionally. It goes hand in hand with gratitude--being grateful of your life unconditionally. When things go wrong in people's life, or when they don't get what they want, they start complaining about life. People often ask me what inspires me. I always give them my one-word answer: life. The last time I gave this answer, the woman laughed. She said that while I love life, people usually complain about life.

But does life complain about you? No matter what you do, if you've made a mistake, if you've done something wrong, the sun will always shine down upon you. The sun shines down on all people, good or bad. Why don't you return that unconditional love?

I value life as is, in its purest form. I am madly in love with the purity of life. Yes, call me a love sick gal! But let me ask you this: what would you have missed if your existence had never existed? I know I am able to laugh; I am able to weep. Without my life, I would be able to do none of these.

I am able to love life, as I start everything with appreciation. Before you start anything new, do anything new, and go anywhere new, appreciate what you have now. This appreciation will act like a cushion if you ever fall back to where you've started. Once you've achieved gratitude from the beginning, you'll not fear of losses; you'll be thankful for everything you'll gain.

I believe I was a very grateful child. True, I did not know about the concept of gratitude, along with other virtues of life, as I was merely an infant, but I was a very happy infant. Happiness starts with gratitude, especially the kind of happiness held by those who are in a less fortunate state than others. I was in intense physical pain when I was little, yet I smiled and laughed at every chance I got, even between cries of agony. I still remember pointing at pretty objects in the room as I cried my little heart out. Surely, I was grateful just to exist?

Often times, people take their fortunes for granted. They compare themselves with those who are richer, healthier, smarter, prettier, and so on, and never learn from those who are less fortunate than they are: the blind, the disabled, the homeless, the starved, and the abused and tortured. Yet, many of these people, including yours truly, are able to rise above their challenges and come out as happy, grateful human beings. Next time when you feel sorry for yourself, pay a visit to the homeless on the streets and the sickly in the hospitals and nursing homes. How would you like to exchange places with them?

In life, make the most of your situation; make the most of what you have. Everyone travels down his or her own road, but will ultimately arrive at the same end as all others. Everyone shares a common goal in life, and it is to die happy. If you could look back on your life and nod in approval, you'll know you have achieved your main goals in life. Sure, you've had ups and downs, but if you believe that you've done your best, then that's all that matters.

Enjoy your life while you can. Love life as much as you can. Time is primarily the only resource we have that will run out, so cherish your time on Earth while it lasts.

Shirley Cheng, blind and physically disabled 24-year-old award-winning author and motivational speaker, www.ShirleyCheng.com

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