Friday, 27 March 2015

Embracing Illness - instead of "Fighting" & "Waging Wars"

     “As an educator I had learned the difference between opening to possibilities through questions, and closing creativity with answers. Then, as ALS*** became part of my experience, the question I started to be able to ask to turn that was, ‘How shall we grow into the demands of what is beyond us?’ – which is a different question from ‘How shall we fight this?’

     Human beings have the capacity to grow … as humans, we can become better. We can become more compassionate. We can become more understanding. No matter what it is that afflicts us, that affliction can become a part of us that makes us better people.

     I realize on one level this sounds incredibly idealistic. But the fact is, that as humans, we’re given ideals. We’re able to project that, and it makes us better. So I feel that in the end, by focusing in on what does it mean to be a teacher?, what does it mean to be an educator?, and what does it mean to have faith? - those things - suddenly, you’re not angry with ALS any more. You may be angry at the circumstances. I will admit to you, there are days when I melt down, I’ve had it, I don’t like having everything done for me.

     But the fact is that most of the time, I perceive great beauty, and great joy. And a lot of that comes from having ALS. I don’t think I could go back. I’ve said this to friends and they look at me like I’m nuts. What I’ve learned in the last four years – I just don’t think I could give that up. It’s too profound. It’s brought me much closer to my own spiritual center. It’s brought me much closer to my children, much closer to my spouse, my friends. We use the word ‘love’ a lot. We say ‘I love you’ a lot, because of ALS.”

Bruce Kramer's EXCEPTIONAL interview by Krista Tippett  


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