“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman
I met a gentleman the other day and was inspired. He embodied what a positive attitude is all about. We had greeted one another and started chatting. Most conversations typically start with the inquiry, “And how are you doing? Is your house okay?” The residents of Fort McMurray are very friendly, for the most part, and their concern is genuine. The forced evacuation following the intrusion of “the beast” into our fair city has brought people closer together. Many lost their homes to the wildfire and so it is a reasonable inquiry. After exchanging a little bit of our experiences I pointed to the gentleman’s foot, (which was encased in a cast and he was walking with the aid of crutches), replying, “Perhaps it’s not all good”. I had wrongly assumed he had broken his foot or had some other mishap during the evacuation. This is when the man’s indomitable spirit really began to shine.
He told me he had lost part of his foot to cancer and went on to say how happy he was; that others had lost much more than he had. We talked about children and he expressed his sorrow that little ones had to go through such an ordeal. We chatted a bit about the fire and how extremely fortunate we were as a community that we didn’t lose one life to the fire itself. All in all it was a very uplifting conversation. This brief encounter is one of many I will treasure. A wise woman once remarked that we have two choices when faced with adversity: we can get better or we can get bitter. This man obviously chose not to let the adversity he faced make him bitter. The world is enriched by souls such as his and life is blessed by all those who embody positive attitudes.