It is better to have a meaningful life and make a difference than to merely have a long life.
Bryant H. McGill
Imagine being 16, with 13 brain surgeries behind you and ahead … what? And it's your birthday.
Lewis Hine did something different for his birthday: he made a video! Not singing and dancing, not surrounded by gifts, but a quiet account of his life: 13 surgeries since he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 27 months; hydrocephalus, meaning water on his brain which has to be drained with a shunt; daily seizures. Yet he speaks of gratitude for life itself and his determination to help other kids who can't go to school or make friends.
He talks of the loneliness of being different and the difficulties of making friends when you are in and out of hospital. He. didn't sit around being sorry for himself, but founded Friend Finders, to put kids like himself in touch with each other.
There's a vibrancy throbbing through his speech, the essence of life that suffering can't quench. I was humbled, inspired and encouraged.
He doesn't have what most kids take for granted – or are boredly wearied of. Those kids who take drugs at parties to dull their ennui at living should hear him – and understand how precious is the life they are dawdling away.
What shines out of him is quality, courage and life. That trumps any bucket list.
Please watch it – link. (Aplogies: I couldn't insert the usual YouTube video link, but this link will get you there – and it is, in the real sense of the word, awesome.)
Friend Finder – link