A New Understanding, Attitude of Gratitude

A New Understanding Attitude of Gratitude

For those of you who came by the Tow Professional booth during the Florida Tow Show, thank you. Darian Weaver, the Publisher, and I had lots of fun catching up with you. To all my readers, I was recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and was walking with the help of a rollator. Many great towers have added me to a prayer list, and I greatly appreciate it.

Even though it’s not curable, GBS isn’t contagious. Back in December, my walking gait caught the attention of my neurologist who hadn’t seen me for several months. Without hesitation, she told me to continue down the road to the hospital, and I wasn’t to stop for anything. In fact, if I didn’t go there directly, she would order an ambulance service to take me there. That was December 28th. I stayed several days in the hospital, and with the treatments over the next few days, I missed New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome requires lots of physical therapy and generates periods of fatigue. I can’t quit working on it, or I won’t get any better. Recovery could be a long process.

Feeling sorry for myself with how GBS has affected me, I was asked to join a special zoom meeting with 14 other GBS patients, all of them with different levels of GBS. One was from South Africa, Australia, Ohio, Louisiana, other parts of the US and one from Canada. Expecting my case to be worse than the rest, I discovered that I was one of the better patients. Lots of them were relegated to a wheelchair, and the man from Ohio was in a hospital bed set up in a makeshift bedroom that was formally his dining room. I began to realize all of us have troubles. If we look around, there’s usually someone else that’s worse off than we are.

I am reminded of what my brother-in law, Dan, told me years ago. Being a pastor of a church in Oklahoma, he counseled a lady that had been so busy taking care of her family that she didn’t think she could go any more. She didn’t feel appreciated and certainly didn’t feel that other families went through what she endured. Basically, her time was spent with Dan was complaining about all her responsibilities and commitments. Dan assured her that he had the answer to her problems. As she leaned forward, he told her what to do. “Go home and bake several pies, doesn’t matter what kind of pies really, but make several, but I want you to deliver them to this address. Make sure you leave the pies with someone there and then come back and let me know who you left them with.” The lady thought Dan hadn’t listened to her at all. Did he not realize that she didn’t have any time left for herself?

When the lady returned to meet with Dan several days later, she had learned the names of those people, their illnesses and lack of monetary funds to keep them going. This lady forgot about her needs because she saw others who were in worse shape. There’s always someone in his world who is going through something worse than we are. Like me, I walk slow, but I walk determined to walk better again.

Now, let’s back to the other patients on my GBS group. Some of the men with GBS are paralyzed from the waist down. While driving in North Georgia I saw a sign on the side of a store building. It read, “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.” As I drove past that building, I gave that statement a second thought because there’s an undeniable truth in it. Thankful people are happy. Here’s an eye-opening story that might help you with stress and reaffirm that thankful people are happy, no matter what happens to them. It’s truly our decision whether to be thankful or not.

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. As he sat on the step, he held up a sign which read, “I am blind. Please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat, just spare change from passersby as they hurried past him. When one inquisitive, but intuitive man was walking by, he took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. As the young boy said, “Thank you”, the man took the sign from the boy’s hands. With the sign in his hands, the man turned the sign around and scribbled more words on the sign and returned the sign back to the boy’s hands. Soon the hat began to fill-up. It wasn’t long before the pile of coins grew inside the blind boy’s hat.

That afternoon, the man walked by the boy again. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man responded with, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said, but in a different way.” He wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.” Both signs spoke the truth. The first sign simply said that the boy was blind, while the second sign conveyed how grateful the rest of those walking by are to see the magnificence of the beautiful day.

When your life seems full of troubles, it is hard to maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude”. When everything seems to be going smoothly, we often take precious moments for granted. I do. As I read that story, I examined my life. I have been so blessed with family and friends, and God has been very good to me. Yes, I get very tired these days. At the Florida Tow Show, I stayed in the booth for a few hours and had to rest some to be ready for networking with fellow towers.

I hope after reading this article, you will add me to your prayer list. Please join me and Darian Weaver on the next Tow Professional podcast, one of the fastest-growing podcasts in our industry. See you next time.