Monday, December 15, 2008

The View from my Bicycle [COLUMN]

Appreciate this

Whenever I get sick I realise to what an extent I am blessed to be [relatively] young, and healthy. I once visited my grandmother in an old age home 4 days before her death. She was virtually blind, her legs looked bruised and purple, and her hair was straight like hair on a broomstick. She wasn't sure who I was, and I was under the impression her body was like a Toyota engine, too good really, because her spirit was gone. When I left her I had this sense of the miracle of life - that driving around, walking, eating unassisted, all these we take for granted as a matter of course, but one day we will once again be helpless as children, and then babies.

I've been stung by a bee which reminds me how vulnerable we can be. One might survive car accidents and a terrible break-up with someone, but a simple bee sting [when one's develops an allergic response] can be life threatening. Who'd have thought?

It's a crazy world we live in. We live in a world where a man uses a pizza to defend himself against gun toting youths. Where a man commits suicide on TV or on the internet. Where criminals impersonate policemen. But that doesn't mean we are crazy. It doesn't mean we have to give ourselves over to lunacy.

Over the past few days I have tried my hand and doing video-casts. I notice I am not particularly spontaneous in front of the camera, I say 'UM'a lot, and I struggle to articulate on subjects that I'm not particularly passionate about.
Today, if I had not been stung, I would have done a triathlon at Germiston Lake. Instead I went through some archived video of myself and my then girlfriend, Fiona - a lawyer based in Singapore - and it is fascinating to see in living color and audio the people we were, it seems, in another world.

I will try to put some of that adventure up on Youtube.

We have much to be grateful for and much to appreciate. Gratitude is a great antidote to unhappiness and depression. A grateful person accepts and enjoys what they have. The unhappy person is always looking outward for something they don't have. The answer to what we're looking for lies - always - inside of us, not out there. Out there is adventure, and maybe it will change us, maybe it won't.

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