Friday, September 9, 2011


In our society everything is about money or lack of money. What you wear, what your educational level is, where you live and even how straightened and whitened your teeth are, is all determined by how much money you have or do not have.

It has always troubled me that we don't or can't look beyond our  socioeconomic boundries that seem to determine a person's worth in the eyes of others.

In the final analysis as we approach death we are stripped of all of the worldly things we have accumulated over our lifetimes, what we are left with is our actual worth. What kind of person were we? Were we kind? Were we loved by others? Did we give back to others?  The answers to these questions are what actually determine how wealthy we really were in our lifetime.

As we live our day to day lives it would  seem advantageous for all of us to pay more attention to the inside of ourselves rather than by being consumed by external appearances.

Anyone who knows me already knows that I have struggled with issue of money all of my life and still continue to do so. Lack of money can become a real source of depression and anxiety if you allow it. On a daily basis we are subjected or rather bombarded with advertising that tells us over and over again we are nothing without the best car, the biggest house, the latest electronic gadget, etc.

I believe that bombardment of advertising has led to a lot of economic hardship for people who believe their self worth is determined by material objects. Naturally I have become somewhat affected myself by all of these advertising ploys.

As I get older and I think after having suffered the loss of my legs, I have begun to pay more attention to the inside of myself and less attention to my outward appearance. The loss of my legs has forced me to look at myself more analytically. I have had an epiphany of sorts. I understand more fully that my outward appearance physically has little to do with what kind of person I really am.

All the money in the world would never buy me the God given legs I was born with. Having legs or not having legs does not define me, similarily having or not having money does not define me either.

I want to live my life with grace and dignity remembering the most important things in life, loving others, being loved by others, and having compassion for my fellow man and woman are just a few of my life's goals. It might be beneficial for all of us to occasionally take a step back, look at our lives and see if we like not the car we drive or the home we live in, but rather do we like the type of person we are on the inside? Are we happy with who we are rather than what we own?

I am not foolish enough to believe that having money does not make your life easier, but we have to be careful not to allow money to completely dictate our lives. We all know of someone who has spent their entire life accumulating wealth and power but it has been to the detriment of the more important aspects of their life; like not being present for their family or friends, not spending those precious moments with their children growing up etc.

I understand the constraints money or lack of money places on us as human beings in our society. However, sometimes with the lack of money comes the ability and time to really take a look inside ourselves--to examine our souls.

I have mentioned something my friend, Michelle McKinney Hammond, said to me in the hospital after the loss of my second leg, which I feel bears repeating, "out of great losses come great blessings." I want to be able to look at my life in hindsight and be proud and thankful for how I have lived and learned in my lifetime.

I want my life to be a life not full of regrets of what I did or did not do, but rather to know in my heart that my existence has been one of love, compassion, faith and perseverance. It is my wish that we all will feel that way about ourselves. How do you feel about yourself at this very moment of your life? After all this very moment is the only moment we really have.

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