The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.
“the mental reactions of the inmates of a concentration camp must seem more to us than the mere expression of certain physical and sociological conditions. Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him-mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp. Dostoevski said once, “There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.” These words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost. It can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a genuine inner achievement. It is this spiritual freedom-which cannot be taken away-that makes life meaningful andpurposeful.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning–
Having to take a break, I was scrolling through some of the TV Channels when I came across the Laureus Sports awards for 2019. They were busy presenting the Sporting Moment of the Year: and the winner was; Xia Boyu.
Xia Boyu, a 69-year-old double amputee, reached the summit of Mount Everest from the Nepal side on his fifth attempt to climb the world’s highest peak.
When he was 25 Xia attempted to climb Everest for the first time with a Chinese mountaineering team. During the attempt, he gave his sleeping bag to a friend who was struggling to survive, which resulted in him losing both his feet due to frostbite. A few years later he was diagnosed with a rare form, of blood cancer, lymphoma, which resulted in the amputation of his legs at his knees.
In an interview with TIME, Xia said; “I love the mountain,” “I will fight for it my entire life.” And fought he did.
Xia previously attempted to summit Everest in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2014, the climbing season was cancelled due to an avalanche. In 2015, he attempted the climb again, but this time the climb was cancelled following a 7.8 earthquake that shook Nepal and made it too dangerous to continue with the climb. In 2016, Xia was forced to retreat, within 91 meters of the summit because of a blizzard.
On the 14 May 2018 Xia Boyu reached the summit at 8:26 am (Nepal time) successfully.
After watching this amazing feat, I had to ask myself, “what is my driving and overwhelming passion in life? What is it that makes me rise every morning?” It was then that I realized that it isn’t any more to conquer Everest or other similar feats. It simply is to love and be loved. To make a difference in someone’s life today.
It’s like the man who was walking on the beach and a lot of sea stars were washed ashore. He would pick one up and threw it back into the ocean. Then another and then another. Someone came up to him and said, “Sir there’s too many, you can’t make a difference!” He picked up another one, threw it back into the ocean and said, “I just made the difference for that one!”
What kind of place would this world be if all of us can just make a difference in one single person’s life every day. Let’s join hands and be that difference, today.
Living in love
“There is a desire within each of us,
in the deep centre of ourselves
that we call our heart.
We were born with it,
it is never completely satisfied,
and it never dies.
We are often unaware of it,
but it is always awake.
It is the Human desire for Love.
Every person in this Earth yearns to love,
to be loved, to know love.
Our true identity, our reason for being
is to be found in this desire.
Love is the “why” of life,
why we are functioning at all.
I am convinced
it is the fundamental energy
of the human spirit.
the fuel on which we run,
the wellspring of our vitality.
which is the flowing,
creative activity, of love itself,
is what makes all goodness possible.
Love should come first,
it should be the beginning of,
and the reason for everything.”
― Gerald May, Living in Love–