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Be Encouraging

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There are times when things may not be their best.  Times where everything just seems to be going wrong, or a situation seems very grim.  It’s easy to be absorbed by the moment or period of time, and even let it consume you.  This happens for many people, causing them to lose hope and never see the bright side of things.  We need to try to make the best out of every situation.  Take the opportunity to be positive and encouraging to ourselves and the ones around us.  Sort of like the story about The Two Hospital Patients…

The Two Hospital Patients

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on holiday.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and, after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

The Takeaway

This is a classic example of having choices in life.  A choice to see the good or a choice to see the bad.  The blind patient could have easily said that he couldn’t see and become self-absorbed in his own misery, dumping that misery on the other patient.  Instead, he made the best of a situation, not only for his own interest but also for the betterment of someone else.

We have a choice to look at any situation and see the good or the bad.  I encourage you to have the vision the blind patient had.  Look for the positive things in life and use them to encourage others.  You’ll do wonders for yourself and all those you encounter.

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