“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” — Eckhart Tolle
Appreciate your life. Not everyone is given the same chance.
This is my story about my sister who didn’t get the same chance and luck in life that I did.
Until my sister was born, I never really understood how luck played a huge part in life. I now realise it’s actually one of the biggest things that shapes your life; your country of birth, your parents and your gender are all based on luck of the draw. These aren’t things you get to choose, it’s what you’re born into.
Some of us hit the jackpot and are born in prosperous countries, have loving parents and are genetically blessed. But that doesn’t happen to everyone. Whenever I look at my sister i’m reminded of that.
Growing up, my sister didn’t get the same chance at life as I did. While we were both lucky to have been born in Australia and come from a loving family, she wasn’t so lucky with her heath. Through nobody’s fault she was born into a disabled life.
Although my family has done everything to make sure my sister has the best life possible, she hasn’t been able to enjoy simple freedoms we sometimes take for granted such as being able to talk, feed or dress ourselves. Her health condition has meant she has missed out on having a ‘normal’ life, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard to watch.
Apart from the worries about my sister’s health, the most difficult part for me is knowing that she was never given a chance. I can’t help but ask ‘why’? Why was my sister given this fate from birth? Why wasn’t she given a chance? Why does she have to miss out on so much? Why has she had to suffer? (these question prompted me to write the unfairness blog).
The ‘why’ questions are endless and have no answers. It also doesn’t help when I think about the ‘what if’ questions. What if she hadn’t been born with a disability, what would her life be like? What if she was able to talk, what would she want to tell us?
But to be honest the most difficult thing to comprehend and accept is the loss of opportunity. The opportunity for my sister to one day live independently, work, travel or even have friends – the chance to do the same things I’ve been able to do. These are but lost possibilities and serve as a reminder of the freedoms and opportunities we rarely think twice about in our day to day life.
It’s easy to get caught up in these thoughts, but my sister has been a blessing. She has shown incredible strength and determination throughout her life. Despite being dealt bad cards, she’s still able to laugh, show affection and experience joy no matter what – something we should all appreciate regardless of how bad we think our life is. Her fighting spirit has led to incredible achievements. At birth she was not expected to survive, let alone learn to walk, but she has proved every doctor wrong.
Most importantly my sister has taught me to appreciate the chance in life I’ve been given, a chance that’s denied to many. It’s very easy to forget that one chance is all we get, there’s no next times, no second chances to live our life again. That’s why I focus less on what’s going wrong and make the most out of my opportunities, both good and bad. I know that i’m one of the lucky people who got a head start in life which is why I’m not going to waste it.