The Pirate

The “Chicken soup for the soul” book series is a treasure of short stories to illuminate the heart and the mind. Listen to this lovely and teaching story from one of the books. It starts with the saying by Anais Nin – “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” It will soon be clear. Here is the story:

 We are in a waiting room in a doctor’s clinic:

Mrs. Smith is sitting in her doctor’s waiting room when a young boy and his mother entered the office. The young boy caught Mrs. Smith’s attention because he wore a patch over one eye. She marveled at how unaffected he seemed to be by the loss of an eye and watched as he followed his mother to a chair nearby.

The doctor’s office was very busy that day, so Mrs. Smith had an opportunity to chat with the boy’s mother while he played with his soldiers. At first he sat quietly, playing with the soldiers on the arm of the chair. Then he silently moved to the floor, glancing up at his mother.

Eventually, Mrs. Smith had an opportunity to ask the little boy what happened to his eye. He considered her question for a long moment and then replied, lifting the patch, “There’s nothing wrong with my eye. I’m a pirate!”  Then he returned to his game.

Few words about Mrs. Smith:

She was there because she had lost her leg from the knee down in an auto accident. Her trip today was to determine whether it had healed enough to be fitted with a prosthetic. The loss had been devastating to her. Try as she would to be courageous, she felt like invalid. Intellectually, she knew that this loss should not interfere with her life, but emotionally, she just couldn’t overcome this hurdle. Her doctor had suggested visualization, and she had tried it, but had been unable to envision an emotionally acceptable, lasting image. In her mind she saw herself as an invalid.

While listening to the boy’s unexpected answer, in that moment, the invalid image was replaced and her courage returned.

And back to the doctor’s waiting room:

A few minutes later, the nurse called her. As she balanced on her crutches, the young boy noticed her amputation. “Hey lady,” he called, “what’s wrong with your leg?” The young boy’s mother was mortified.

Mrs. Smith looked down at her shortened leg for a moment. Then she replied with a smile, Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with my leg. I’m a pirate, too.”  

 (Told by Marjorie Walle and published in ”Chicken Soup for the woman’s Soul”, by Jack Canfield & Mark Hansen, Copyright c 1996.)

Sometimes an occasional encounter can open our eyes or even change our life. But it is more important to notice how things that we see are filtered through who we are at that moment. As was quoted above… “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
Fireworks (35)
Thursday, August 6, 2009

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