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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

True Librarian, I didnt know him, most people I know dont know him, but I think a lot more will now because of this book. And they will know how extraordinary many things are in his life because of it. But this book would not have been written if he had not had the surgery. I think that is more what we were talking about. I dont remember now lol, will have to go back and read why we were talking about being known, after I close this window. I wish you could answer in one while reading the posts in another darn it :smileywink:
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Librarian wrote:
Hi Everyone---On the matter if Mike would be less known if he had not chosen sight

Remember. Everyone still does not know about Mike even with his decision to see and the publication of this book. I have mentioned this book to people who knew nothing about it. So if Mike had decided against this surgerey, it doesn't mean he would be less known. With either decision, he is known by people who either come into contact with his business, an article in a paper, a conversation with someone, one of his sports activities or a book.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
psb
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psb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

Vivico1 wrote:
"Bad things happen to good people, because bad things happen in a mortal world. Its just that simple and bad things happen to bad people too. Why don't we question that? We don't because even if we don't believe in a God, or say there cant be one, if he lets this stuff happen to good people, we do not feel the same about when bad things happen to bad people. We are more than willing to give some "higher power, or karma" the credit for that because surely the bad person got what they deserved! No, bad things happen to good and bad people and always will."



And good things happen to bad people.

Unfortunately, I can't reconcile this. You say that a higher power was at work for Mike and also that we are willing to give a higher power the credit for bad things happening to bad people but that the rape of the little girl was the result of a man's free agency and not God's fault. I think you and Librarian are more able to accept that God "knows things we don't" and is "working in different ways" than I am. God, certainly, isn't showing his love for Mike and that little girl in the same way.

Thanks, Vivian, for sharing your stories and experiences with us and thanks to everyone else, especially Robert for their comments about this book too.

As you say, people with disabilities do not want to be thought of as "less than" or "just unlucky". Which reminds me of a blind acquaintance who commented during a dinner conversation and discussion that she preferred that she was blind and not deaf.
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

psb, Mike, and Ms Tester and the little girl who was raped and were not one person, each are unique and God does work in their lives and mine and yours. God is a loving father, but he's not our genie. He isnt going to make everything right for everyone while we are here or else why are we here, if not to learn from our own experiences? Nothing. I guess in a lot of ways, to believe in God, you really need to understand why we are on earth at all. If a person isnt sure why we are here (what is the plan for all mankind to be here anyway) then you will never understand that once here, we are going to face all kinds of adversities till the day we die. We may never know why we had to go through our individual trials while we are here, but what we do with them is what will make or break us. Knowing you are not alone in it and that this is not the end does give one some understanding and hope for our futures beyond this. And we do need hope, in many forms, to conquer our trials here. That doesnt mean everyone getting their sight back, the guy who lost his leg, having the money to get a prosthetic one or his own back. It is about an emotional conquering and spiritual conquering.

I am disabled psb, in a number of ways. I have had many surgeries and I have had cancer. I was physically and emotionally and sexually abused for 8 years when I was a child. I was comepletely homebound by illness for 8 years in my thirties and couldnt leave the house for that whole 8 years. Would I wish any of this on anyone else? No. Would I want to go back and relive it? No. Would I want to go back and change it all? NO. Because with all of it, its still a part of who I am today and this has been an incredible adventure of learning, sometimes sooo sooo hard and painful, still now and more to come, but its also a great playground out there in the world. And I do know God works in my life. I know he cares and I know he listens to me and answers, and the old saying may sound tired but yeah, sometimes the answer is no but when we keep striving and keep a spiritual ear open, we will know why at some point. I worry that you think, if there is a higher power, hes not being fair with everyone equally, because thats saying everyone needs exactly the same thing and thats only true in our own perception of what a person needs in this world at all, to be happy or to exist! That can set others up to think, well if what you say is true, then I have two options, either I can decide there is no God, so I dont have to think I am undeserving of what he gives others, or I can decide there is a God and he doesnt love me the same. To me,those just are not acceptable ideas to pass on to anyone who is finding their own way. Thats like saying, Ok, this is what I think God would do for you if he loved you, but he isnt so there is no hope in him! See, to judge God in such a way, is to judge another's life experiences to them or what they should be.

You know, parents say, I love all my kids and I dont treat them any different. But, if you get them alone and they are honest, yes most parents love all their kids equally, but most do not treat them the same, not even necessarily on all the same things. Thats because they know their kids and who can handle what and who cant and when you have to just let some learn the hard way. Its being a parent. Now, dont say, but I wouldnt make mine blind, or i wouldnt let mine get raped when I can stop it. Thats something very different, as different as two parents, the same two, producing a number of kids that are all different in some ways. They dont come out two years apart looking like twins! Ever wonder about that? Why does the exact sperm, same DNA and the exact woman's egg's, same DNA, come out so very different each time? Oh you may look very much like your brother or sister but you do not look like twins, even tho you are from the same mixture!

I dont know what to tell ya. We are not meant to live the exact same lives, we are not one person. Parents, earthly or our Father in heaven, care and love and will be there to help all their children who are hurting or get hurt in some way. Its what parents do. I had earthly parents who were not parents at all. I dont think they knew how, or they just didnt want to be. But I know I have one heavenly parent who does know what I need and how to help me, even when I get so frustrated with him for things I think i need or want, just like any child does. I can feel it as palpably as I can feel my skin. But even coming to that knowledge was part of my own personal journey. You dont have to believe in a higher power to get by, but to worry if there is one, why is this person this way and that person that way, is a futile question. We each have gifts and man I am so glad that some of the doctors I have had, have pursued theirs, their curiosity or whatever they felt inside them, to chase those and become the doctors they are so that I could partake of their healing gifts. Or that scientist pursued theirs. OR that mothers pursue theirs, I wished mine had of. My cancer took my ability to have children, but not all mothers have their own children, but they have them, in one form or another. I would rather work with a blind child and rather than say, where is God that he would do this to a child,think, ok, this is one unique child, as all are, what is it that is in them, that they really want, that I can help them pursue and what is it in them, that they are already sharing with me! Then you will see God.

I hope this did not sound preachy or aimed at you as a person. I just have very strong feelings about who we all are as a family and that each of us will have trials in this life, some will be trials that we may see and think, dang, I am so glad I dont have to go through that, or why do they have to! But it is the nature of mortal life. The reason people like Mike inspire us, is that they didnt just stop right there, with "why me", they went on with life in a "why not me" attitude that for Mike, I think his mother helped inspire in him, or nurture that part that was already in him. For anyone working with someone with disabilities or pain, thats what we need to do too. We have to get out of the "why did this happen to them" attitude and nurture the "what can they do and want to do" attitude. In my very worst moments, I really hate being around why me people, they are stuck, and I dont want to get stuck with them. Sometimes my own mire is hard enough and I need people around me who dont wonder why I was put in the mire but simple see it and say, here lets get you to higher ground! I know, those people are put in my path for a reason. I know I was put in their path for a reason. I dont believe in coincidences.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

psb, I reread your post again too about God not showing his love for Mike and the girl that got raped in the same way. Actually, I think He is. HE didnt rape her, but he has put both in the care of people who will help them or find what they need, given what has happened to them. He didnt stop either thing from happening to either person, thats the same, and he has helped them with people who can be there for them, thats the same. I think God helps us more with effects of life, not the causes. And psb, do you think its a coincidence that you are in the position of helping blind children just because? Do you think your curiousity and desires in this area are just coincidences? :smileywink: You may not believe God had anything to do with your talents to help, or your loving nature about them, which I know you have. Thats ok. The bigger point is that you are following those desires to do so. and by the way, thanks for your posts and input in here, we dont seem to have a lot of posters in here. And I do enjoy our discussions. :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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lovetoread
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

I wonder if fate comes into the picture through the other people that Mike will touch with his story? Will other blind people who can be helped by the same type of surgery Mike had be inspired by his story and seek it out? Or is it fate that lead him to Jennifer, truly an amazing woman?

I like to believe that fate has played a role in my life, but then I worry that I sound too superstitious....are things we can't explain any other way always due to "fate"? Or do we make our own fate?
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


lovetoread wrote:
I wonder if fate comes into the picture through the other people that Mike will touch with his story? Will other blind people who can be helped by the same type of surgery Mike had be inspired by his story and seek it out? Or is it fate that lead him to Jennifer, truly an amazing woman?

I like to believe that fate has played a role in my life, but then I worry that I sound too superstitious....are things we can't explain any other way always due to "fate"? Or do we make our own fate?


I think fate, a higher power, anything you want to call it, brings people like you mention here into our lives, opportunities and trials too, then I think its not fate what you do with it, I think thats where your agency, or personality or anything you want to call that part this is in us, makes our lives what they will be, meaning we will make our own lives out of what has been presented us by something more than coincidence. Does that make sense? I think Mike (and all of us) make our "fate" by what we decide to do with what we got.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

Re: Fate vs coincidence
vivico1 wrote:
"do you think its a coincidence that you are in the position of helping blind children just because? Do you think your curiousity and desires in this area are just coincidences? You may not believe God had anything to do ..."




Atheists and agnostics have empathy for others and moral codes. They just work out their principles by other means than through a belief in God.
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

PSB, I know that I am replying to a message that you wrote some days ago. Forgive my delay. I was away from a computer for several days and am only now catching up. But, I am curious about your rational for the desire for everyone born blind to have the opportunity to gain sight. Maybe you already answered this, so again, I appreciate your patience with my slow response and reading of these posts. Knowing how difficult the transition to the use of sight was for Mike, why would you desire all to have this opportunity. According to the book, the few cases of sight restoration in adulthood resulted in severe depression or disappointment. Mike almost flushed his anti-rejection drugs down the toilet. He still depends on his dog and cane for mobility. Unlike Mike, I have some sight, light perception, the ability to see hand motion at approximately 6 inches and bright color such as a light at the same distance. I suspect that perception would be far easier for me because my sight has deteriorated over years, beginning at 20/200 and progressing. Even with that, I would be like Mike needing time to decide if it was worth the risk of surgery. If the individual were to face the problems that were catalogued in this book, would sight be an advantage? My personal experience is that blindness, if aquired from birth or young childhood, is not a particularly burdensome hardship. Every life has hardship and, in my opinion, it is those hardships that build character. Would you wish that every life be free of anything that might be difficult or painful or challenging? Or do you feel that the lack of physical vision is a particularly harsh limitation with which to cope? Other than living beyond the city bus line, a situation that grounds me more than I would like, I have few complaints about my life that are related to my vision. I have my own home, good friends, a solid job that I am good at, hobbies, etc. Other than my mother, who has never been satisified with how any of her kids turned out, I don't think anyone who knows me spends any time wishing I could see. Irene
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


psb wrote:
Re: Fate vs coincidence
vivico1 wrote:
"do you think its a coincidence that you are in the position of helping blind children just because? Do you think your curiousity and desires in this area are just coincidences? You may not believe God had anything to do ..."




Atheists and agnostics have empathy for others and moral codes. They just work out their principles by other means than through a belief in God.


many things we do in life, we dont think about God every second we are doing them, or wonder if it's "of a divine nature". Actually, sometimes I grow wearisome of people who talk about nothing but God and "I know he understands what I am saying here". For me, it doesnt even matter if a person is atheist or agnostic. I just know that behind every talent is something within us that is more than just something the climbed out of the sludge billions of years ago and will be nothing but dirt when we die! I believe all things are eternal in some form or another. If you want to put it scientifically, no matter is ever lost, or energy, it is just transformed into another form of energy. I just dont believe in coincidences is all, whatever one wants to contribute it to. Also, by not believing in coincidences, I personally am more apt to look for deeper meaning in my experiences than when I think, oh that just happened is all. Hey, makes for a greater adventure in life too, to know that there is reason behind things that I just may not know yet.I think we are given challenges and gifts and THEN its up to use to decide how we will use them, or what we attribute them to,good or bad, part of whats in us, or part of what happens to us. I do not believe in predestination tho ok, want to make sure to get that in there, because I do believe you have the agency to decide to do what you will with what you are given. If that is working things out with any means of any kind other than a belief in God, thats ok, because thats your agency to decide and he does expect us to do things ourselves too or why be here. I just believe we have some God given talents, meant to be used to help each other and then, whatever your spiritual beliefs, you have the agency to do with them what you will. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


ilucas wrote:
PSB, I know that I am replying to a message that you wrote some days ago. Forgive my delay. I was away from a computer for several days and am only now catching up. But, I am curious about your rational for the desire for everyone born blind to have the opportunity to gain sight. Maybe you already answered this, so again, I appreciate your patience with my slow response and reading of these posts. Knowing how difficult the transition to the use of sight was for Mike, why would you desire all to have this opportunity. According to the book, the few cases of sight restoration in adulthood resulted in severe depression or disappointment. Mike almost flushed his anti-rejection drugs down the toilet. He still depends on his dog and cane for mobility. Unlike Mike, I have some sight, light perception, the ability to see hand motion at approximately 6 inches and bright color such as a light at the same distance. I suspect that perception would be far easier for me because my sight has deteriorated over years, beginning at 20/200 and progressing. Even with that, I would be like Mike needing time to decide if it was worth the risk of surgery. If the individual were to face the problems that were catalogued in this book, would sight be an advantage? My personal experience is that blindness, if aquired from birth or young childhood, is not a particularly burdensome hardship. Every life has hardship and, in my opinion, it is those hardships that build character. Would you wish that every life be free of anything that might be difficult or painful or challenging? Or do you feel that the lack of physical vision is a particularly harsh limitation with which to cope? Other than living beyond the city bus line, a situation that grounds me more than I would like, I have few complaints about my life that are related to my vision. I have my own home, good friends, a solid job that I am good at, hobbies, etc. Other than my mother, who has never been satisified with how any of her kids turned out, I don't think anyone who knows me spends any time wishing I could see. Irene


Irene,
Vivian wrote that she saw a higher power at work in the coincidences that led Mike to having the chance to have his sight restored. I understood her to mean that that chance was a good thing. What I wanted was for that same good thing to be available to every blind child. They then could have the opportunity to make the decision of whether they would want to go through all the hardships involved or not.

Yes, Mike had a hard time as have others but should that mean that no one should have that same choice? I appreciate the fact that, for all the reasons you list, you might not choose this type of surgery for yourself.

Do you think scientists should continue with their research into the causes and cures for blindness?
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

PSB, Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. You asked if I thought scientists should continue to pursue cures for various causes of blindness. I must admit that I can't give you a simple answer. If forced to simplify my thoughts to a "yes" or "no", I would say yes. But my yes would be rooted in my love of knowledge. The more we know the more we can do and be. I believe in knowledge for knowledge's sake. But, I also have to admit a deeply held hope that humanity never developes the ability to "cure" all forms of "disabilities" or illness. I hope we can never create a "perfect" physical life for people. I believe that there are positive character traits that can only be formed in the face of challenge or adversity. And, I also must admit that I get a twinge of resentment crawling up my spine whenever anyone speaks of visual limitation as a "disability" or even a "tragedy". I realize that for people who lose their sight later in life, the adjustment can be overwhelming. I also realize that most people with average vision find it difficult imagining functioning without it. But, for me, it is no more a sorce of regret than the fact that I am flat chested or terrible with recalling names.

I read Vivico's story of the music teacher she knew as a young teen with profound sadness. That woman was reduced to something close to a giggling kid before the attention of a thirteen year old. She was the adult who should have been introducing Vivico to new experiences, guiding her, assisting her. But a combination of social context, personality and life opportunities left her world so small. I am the director of a religious education program at a Catholic Church. For a while, I was responsible for youth ministry. I have taken young teens camping, to four day outdoor Christian concerts, to rallies and on canoe trips. Among other things, I teach religion classes when there are not enough volunteers to go around. I have confiscated objects being thrown around a room as well as other contraband. I am the one who must go into the out-of-control class to restore order for the volunteer teacher. I have worked with teens in juvenile detention facilities, urban youth and suburban youth. It sounds as if this woman was ill-prepared for teaching adolescents. I regret that her lack of ability to handle her class was attributed to being blind.

I wonder if Mike May perceives his life to be better now that he has aquired sight. I know that he is glad for the experience because his natural personality is to crave new experiences, to be quite curious. But, apart from the satisified curiosity, I wonder if he would rate his life satisificaiton higher before the surgery or after it. Irene
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

[ Edited ]

ilucas wrote:
PSB, Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. You asked if I thought scientists should continue to pursue cures for various causes of blindness. I must admit that I can't give you a simple answer. If forced to simplify my thoughts to a "yes" or "no", I would say yes. But my yes would be rooted in my love of knowledge. The more we know the more we can do and be. I believe in knowledge for knowledge's sake. But, I also have to admit a deeply held hope that humanity never developes the ability to "cure" all forms of "disabilities" or illness. I hope we can never create a "perfect" physical life for people. I believe that there are positive character traits that can only be formed in the face of challenge or adversity. And, I also must admit that I get a twinge of resentment crawling up my spine whenever anyone speaks of visual limitation as a "disability" or even a "tragedy". I realize that for people who lose their sight later in life, the adjustment can be overwhelming. I also realize that most people with average vision find it difficult imagining functioning without it. But, for me, it is no more a sorce of regret than the fact that I am flat chested or terrible with recalling names.

I read Vivico's story of the music teacher she knew as a young teen with profound sadness. That woman was reduced to something close to a giggling kid before the attention of a thirteen year old. She was the adult who should have been introducing Vivico to new experiences, guiding her, assisting her. But a combination of social context, personality and life opportunities left her world so small. I am the director of a religious education program at a Catholic Church. For a while, I was responsible for youth ministry. I have taken young teens camping, to four day outdoor Christian concerts, to rallies and on canoe trips. Among other things, I teach religion classes when there are not enough volunteers to go around. I have confiscated objects being thrown around a room as well as other contraband. I am the one who must go into the out-of-control class to restore order for the volunteer teacher. I have worked with teens in juvenile detention facilities, urban youth and suburban youth. It sounds as if this woman was ill-prepared for teaching adolescents. I regret that her lack of ability to handle her class was attributed to being blind.

I wonder if Mike May perceives his life to be better now that he has aquired sight. I know that he is glad for the experience because his natural personality is to crave new experiences, to be quite curious. But, apart from the satisified curiosity, I wonder if he would rate his life satisificaiton higher before the surgery or after it. Irene


ilucas, I love your post here. I agree with you that pursuing knowledge for knowledge sake is a wonderful thing! I am very glad also though that science has produced such things as a cure for polio, ways of controlling diabetes, better surgical procedures (that one I am soooo glad for personally), that I do want them to continue with the practical side of science too, that which can have wonderful applications to the world. I don't fear science ever getting to the point of creating a perfect person. It scares me that we are so close to cloning people tho, even tho I know that wont happen, never completely. But at the same time, when I was in high school, a science teacher told me that sometimes what they do with burn victims, is during the process of taking what is good in one area and transplanting it to cover a bad area so it can grow right back into the same skin, they can take skin samples and keep them seperate and in something, i dont know what now, and it will continue to grow and replicate to the point that enough is made to slice thin and transplant back onto the burn victim. He said unfortunately it takes too much time to work for most while healing and some other things that at that time I didnt understand. He said tho, that he would love to see in the future, people donate some of their own skin for skinbanks like we do with blood, so that if you were ever burned, you would have your own match that would take and heal immediately. Either this never really worked the way he said, or is not "cost effective" or something, that 30 years later, we dont hear about this idea and its not done. But its an interesting idea. I never want science to stop discovering, but kinda in the way you are talking about, I worry not about the perfect person, I dont think God is going to let us mess to much more with what is basically creation, but what I do worry about is that we are now stretching out our lifespans with some things perhaps longer than we were meant to, because we are now living way past when we can work, or will be allows to work, past when the quality of that life is enjoyable independant of constant help from others. I just dont know about those things. In the health sciences, I would rather see thing that affect the quality of life, not the length of life. I dont want to live to be 110, if its alone in a nursing home with no money! Heck I dont want that at 80!

As for the blind teacher, she did teach me a lot, but I got too long on two incidences that had such an impact on me, that I didnt dare write more. As for her lack of ability to handle her class being attributed to her blindness. Well the sad part of that is, no one at the school attributed it to that, SHE DID and so she quit! The 'sheltered, safe life for a blind person" that she had grown up with, made her believe that. I really wanted to get across what we can do to people by labeling them in this way or that and then never letting them run and run and run till they keep hitting things and falling down with everyone else, like Mike did. Her disability were those who taught her she was disabled! So young too! Their worry for her, or wanting to protect her, kept her from learning all kinds of things, including the skills to work with kids outside her blind world and thats why I think she went back to teach the blind kids. But I hope she doesnt teach them the same lessons, I dont think she will. I guess thats why, rather than worry that not every child gets the same chance as Mike to at least chose the surgery or not, personally, I would wish that all children have the same kind of people around them that he did, to help them do whatever is within them that they want to do. Afterall, and I just thought of this PSB, what if Mike had never had the chance?? He still has done tremendous things that have nothing to do with his new sight. Then would we be saying, but I wished he had a chance, hes lacking something or God is not fair, or there is no God? I dont think so, or if we did, it would diminish who he is as a person anyway, sight or no sight. It would also diminish the nature of the effect those loved ones around him have had on him. There it me is the difference in his life and thats what I was trying to say. Maybe everyone doesnt get the chance to "see" as a sighted person, but we are not put in each others lives by coincidence and what we chose to do with that makes all the difference in the world, science or not. Thats where we all come in. Mike may have turned out to be another hurt depressed angry person, that so many of them wound up being after this chance to have the surgery if he had not the skills and curiosity inside him already, to handle it when it came. Those were things that were inside him that his mother nurtured and his wife allowed him to continue with because she knew he needed to. I know he picked her as a mate partially because he knew she was going to be along side him with all the things he wanted to do or try, and not try to hold him back "safely" in their little world.

As for me, and the word disability being applied, sometimes it gets me depending on what context it is used in, but I dont mind in my life because its more of an economic label i.e. I am on disability, than one about what all i can or cant do. There are many things i Just can not do now, but I still have a mind and a life and I am still here kicking! I do the kind of volunteer work I can do, because more than do some of the things I used to be able to and cant now, I need to know I am still making a difference in the world today, that I still have something to give. Thats what I need the most.

oh p.s. Ms Tester was never reduced to something like a giggling kid and nothing more to me, that 13 year old. Nothing in her excitement reduced her in my eyes. I loved her sense of adventure and allowing me to see things new, as she would see them, let me think about things new, as we did this together. Her letting me see her vulnerable side was such a wonderful thing to me for an adult to do with me. I will always love her for it.

"Adversity is the greatest teacher of character." Sorry, I dont remember who said that, but it is a quote. There was one other line too about how it elevates us above mere animals or something like that.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 07-26-2007 11:23 AM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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