Time to reflect
I debated with myself for quite a while as to whether I would write this article; the title might be a bit misleading coming as it does a few short weeks before Christmas, but then again maybe not.
It’s really all about doing what you have to do in a less tha ideal world – self growth if you like.
I have based the following on a piece written in the December 2011 Red Bulletin – a lifestyle magazine produced by the energy drink makers Red Bull. Mostly the magazine covers individuals excelling in extreme sports [usually sponsored Red Bull].
This month the piece I referred to earlier is entitled “Positive Living”. It is about a care giver in Zambia, a country that ‘may be knee deep in catastrophe, but it’s a place that hasn’t lost its smile. Its people are fond of saying ‘I live positive’ despite estimates that the average life expectancy is just 52 years and four months!’
One million of the 14 million population are HIV positive, half the population is under 16 and women give birth to an average of 6 children.
The 39 year old care giver called Susan has a bicycle donated by World Bicycle Relief. It is a heavy unit with no gears. ‘In four years Susan has been the equivalent of halfway around the world on this bike.’ It is nearly worn out with no brakes and the seat is in tatters.
Without her bike she could not visit and attend to anywhere the number of people that she does. Out in the countryside, there are no roads, just hard dirt tracks that become muddy bogs in rainy times. Temperatures are often around 40 degrees Celsius in the dry and 30 degrees in the rainy season.
Susan will tend her small ‘farm’ – just a scrabbly field with no animals before heading out to help those suffering mostly from Aids. She educates as much as she offers solace, there’s not much else. She does her best to ensure those who having children do what they can to ensure the newborn is not infected with this horrible disease. Susan will often help set a fire and ‘heat the water until the germs are dead’ before adding the very basic ingredients that constitute daily fare.
And yet despite her gruelling routine and her own physical tiredness Susan says; “you have to be alert, be cheerful and set your goals.’
Getting up every day, saddling her bike and facing the world is a start!
“Susan lives positive. She has done for more than 10 years.”
This story reminds me that no matter how tough we think our own circumstances are there always seems to be someone, somewhere who is much worse off and yet still manages to keep a positive forward thinking outlook on life.
Which of course is the perfect attitude to have on your personal development journey
So, I invite you to ‘live positive’.