Tag Archive | vision

Erik Weihenmayer’s Blind Faith

Cover of "Touch the Top of the World: A B...

Cover via Amazon

Life is a challenge, only those with the courage to accept this challenge by will are truly alive.Not everyone reaches the summit of life.The mountain is very steep, there are many avalanches, bad weather, falls and high altitudes.Life is a constant struggle to survive all the hardships and successfully reach the summit.But for some, it is only about escaping from limitations and exploring the boundless self.Those are the ones who make life an endless journey of self discovery, a series of overcoming trials, an expanding list of victories, and their faith rises during afflictions with leaps and bounds.

Some of the survivors of life are those who are met with rigid un-erasable boundaries, which stop them from reaching their thresholds.They cannot stand half way through the mountain when the summit is clearly visible. so they embrace strength, revive faith and break through the verges of inability, reaching out with full devotion to achieve excellence of life,and to experience it by being free, free of all stigma’s and handicaps.It is these few i can see standing on the top of the summit, showing us the snowy paths in the light of their achievement and chivalry, making life easier and encouraging for us.

Erik Weihenmayer is the name of one such valiant inspiration.He is ACTUALLY daunted as the successful climber of the seven summits, the higest peak each from every continent.These include Kilimanjaro (Africa), Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe),Aconcagua (South America), Carstensz Pyramid(Oceania), Vinson (Antarctica) & Everest (Asia).According to Wikipedia, Erik is an acrobatic skydiver, long distance biker, marathon runner, skier, mountaineer, ice climber, and rock climber.

Erik Weihenmayer speaking at conference in 2007

Erik Weihenmayer speaking at conference in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s so special about him?Many mountaineers have made it to the Seven Summits!Everything is SPECIAL about him, because he is the FIRST BLIND person to climb Everest to the summit on May 25th, 2001.He became blind due to a genetic retinal disease called retinoschisis which he had since birth, and resulted in total blindness by the age of 13.Still his ambitions to lead a normal life continued.He graduated from Boston University, and proceeded as a middle school teacher and a wrestling coach.He is the author of a book “Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can See“.

So in short, he is special, because of his relentless thrust for life.He had a vision,which many people with sight do not have.He was able to see that God doesn’t want him to suffer, he is short of one of his senses, but the rest are probably more efficient than an ordinary person.He knew he had to put in more efforts to prove something, but he was totally capable of it, and that only ambitious, brave, strong-willed, determined, passionate and those who have faith in God and then themselves are worthy of making it to the top, sight is no where in the list, vision is their though.Those who never quit, who are not stirred by adversity, who believe in the Creator, life and themselves, always find the way through the snowstorms.

His story really inspired me, and i decided to share with you all. I sometimes think that the disability of some makes them able.And those like us who are able at times show inability.WHY?Now i think i have the answer….we need to feel as passionately about something we have faith in, and then we need to jump start to meet the challenge and venture our hidden potential to achieve it.Passion and faith embraces able and disabled alike, no partiality….

Erik Talks About the Supportive Team which helped him reach the top:

A video portraying Erik’s journey to becoming the only blind man to have ever sumitted Mt. Everest.:

Fortune Favors the Brave

“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.”  Tom Krause

Life is beautiful, look around and you see beauty, happiness, smiles, rainbows, flowers, radiance,warmth!There are so many things waiting out there to seek our attention.But……our hearts and emotions are so much entangled in sulking over the shortcomings and burdens of life that they hardly find the time to look around and absorb all the energy around us which gives us the courage to face the hardships of our lives.

Not all of us are strong physically and emotionally.But we can always acquire it from others.Yes, strength and courage always comes from within, but generated from around us.Have you ever noticed ants?One day many years ago, i was sitting in my lounge reading a book, when i suddenly noticed a few ants dragging a vertical piece of food, into a really small horizontal hole in the wall, i got interested as i knew its never gonna go throught that hole.I closed the book and watched them closely.It took a group of them to take it close to the hole, it didn’t went through as i knew, but they kept on pushing it inside.I know they didn’t had the intelligence to break it and take it through bit by bit, but they didn’t stop believing in themselves.They were strong enough to go on and hope that it will happen eventually, even when it couldn’t!

Credits:Claudia Cristina Mesa P
@http://www.sxc.hu/profile/ccrismp

There are thousands of events and things happening around us which i consider a signal of God, they happen at specific times just to make us realize what we should be doing.We look around and find things and people full of courage, not letting go easily, believing in their strength.These situations are a source of inspiration, and energy, and they occur so that we absorb that energy and gain strength in OUR lives to become enduring, survive all the storms and stand out.

Another source of power are the people in our lives who depend on us, and our loved ones.Whenever we think about being tired of fighting it out, we look around us and find them looking at us with hope in their eyes.It becomes impossible to abandon them.All of us should be thankful for all the love and loved ones in our lives, cause they are the ones which make us wanna keep on going.

Strength is what helps us fight short-comings and hazards.We need strength to face life with all of it’s difficulties and challenges.It is courage with the help of which we face life, and courage helps us to take the necessary risks in life,to take chances, to survive the tempest.Therefore both are essential.Strength is needed to attempt the impossible, and courage is needed to survive it.

How we develop courage and strength?When we are put through tests by life , we are involved in situations involving sorrow, setbacks, defeats, loss, trauma, we are constrained to face them.Have you all ever seen how a bird teaches her young ones how to fly?Flying is in their instincts, and nature has blessed them with the necessary parts to do so – wings!Similarly, i feel humans have courage and strength in their instincts. It’s already there somewhere, they simply need to find it and practice it.An Eagle first pushes its eaglets out of the nest, they try to flutter their wings and fly right back into it.Next, it pushes them from the edge of the cliff, and they spread there wings fluttering them vigourously.Some hit the ground hard and even die, some achieve perfection.Same goes for humans.We have strength but we need to gather it, find it, practice it during tough times.All the birds can fly, but only a few fly during storms and eagles are one of them.During storm, wind pressure thrusts their wings and they fly easily without much effort, soaring high above the clouds.Not all of us are eagles, but we can use our strength and intelligence to become one. Therefore, it implies, that although life is the one which puts us through difficulties, it also gives us the necessary strength to face them.Our beliefs, morals, values, aims, ambitions, dreams, vision, behaviour, intelligence,thoughts all contribute to acquiring strength.If we are able to find the strength within, we achieve excellence!Then we are ready to be pushed off any cliff, for we have acquired the art of flying and the rest is easy.To be aware of what we are, to stickwith it,and forbeing yourself, you need courage.To own up to your mistakes, drawbacks and weaknesses again courage is required.

Once we adorn us with bravery, it’s time to sow it around us.Words are the greatest form of strength, because they creep inside our hearts and minds and stay there forever.Whenever we are weak at the knees, we can peep inside and recharge us with valor.When we come across anyone who’s torn apart and needs courage to pick up pieces and reunite them, we should make them realize their strength, how they have faced dissappointments and grievances in the past, and that they have every potential to do it again.Give them examples of people who have successfully done it, give them books with courageous characters facing difficulties and yet not crumbling.Read to them motivational verses and poetry, share with them your own experiences when you came across catastrophe’s and the overcoming of it.Instill them with truth, cause truth gives rise to courage.The more true we are to ourselves and others, the more courage we have to face the adversaries and troubles in life.Always use words like “I can/You can/I will/You will” to become gallant and make others bold too.All of these little acts which don’t take much time and effort can cause immense amount of change in our life and in the lives of others.Courage is essential in eradicating the wrong, unfair, and negative social and global practices like discrimination, deprevation from basic civil and human rights, injustice, greed, corruption etc and to stand up and speak for them.It demands courage to stand for others and their rights.

This world is loaded with under-priviledged, down and out, surrounded with misery and loss, had few or no oppourtunities coming their way, but we see them everyday, surviving Life!They make life proud, and are a slap in the face of hardships.There are people who don’t have what we are blessed with,and still they don’t complain.That’s actually remarkable!They remain unnoticed throughout there lives, and yet are so inspiring, appreciatable!They cultivate strength and courage, and lead from the front!
Amongst those famous, there are many, like the influential iconic hero, Martin Luther King Jr., The revolutionary leader who fought till his death for the rights of African American people.His quote:”Long, Not Long!”, and his visionary speech “I have a dream” did and said it all, so much so that even after his death, his movement went on to suceed it objectives.There is Mother Teresa,a Nun and famous for her huge charity works.She once quoted:”Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies”.Another such story of courage and inspiration is the life of Helen Keller (1880-1968).I have always been so inspired by her, because she makes us humans so proud with her strong character.Her life, how she survived it, the people in her life who helped her, her writings all are a beacon of hope.I simply love one of her quotes:

“Keep your face towards the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.”

Credits:Cathy Snider
@http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1306771

That’s what sunflowers do.They always hold their head high and look towards the sun,face to face, because it is there source of energy, and darkness falls behind them not infront.That’s why they are one of my favourite flowers, because they motivate me.They always remind me to stand strong and give me courage and hope.And they even look quite like the sun too.

Put a bunch in a vase, or grow in your garden or backyard and observe for yourself how they bring you and many others to life.Give it to all those who need strength and hope!

In the end i would tell you how the strength and preservance of the ants triggered compassion?I went on to help them.I took their food, pressed it inside the hole, and the ants did the rest themselves.It made me feel so relieved that day, a day which is spent with a little compassion spread around gives you huge amounts of self-satisfaction!

Here’s are two beautiful poems about courage, both by unknown poets.I hope you derive your share of courage through them:

It Takes Courage by Anonymous

It takes strength to be firm, it takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer, it takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain, it takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in, it takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain, it takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse, it takes courage to stop it.


————————————————————————————–

It Takes Courage Again by Anonymous

It takes courage
To refrain from gossip
When others delight in it,
To stand up for the absent person
Who is being abused.

It takes courage
To live honestly
Within your means,
And not dishonestly
On the means of others.

It takes courage
To be a REAL man or a TRUE woman,
To hold fast to your ideals
When it causes you
To be looked upon
As strange and peculiar.

It takes courage
To be talked about,
And remain silent,
When a word would justify you
In the eyes of others,
But which you dare not speak
Because it would injure another.

It takes courage
To refuse to do something
That is wrong
Although everyone else
May be doing it
With attitudes as carefree
As a summer song.

It takes courage
To live according
To your own convictions,
To deny yourself
What you cannot afford.
To love your neighbor
As yourself!