you, me, and that big tree…
If there is one position in life I am most uncomfortable with, it is being at the center of attention. I don’t like it. I would much rather step back and give credit to others for their hard work. Some accuse me of being too humble, some say I am stupid for not taking more credit when it is due, but no matter what name you put to it, staying in the background remains my preference. Perhaps it comes from being relegated to second station by a handicapped sibling, perhaps it’s been handed down through my family’s moral code, or perhaps it is just my position of comfort. Personally, I believe it’s all three. Candidly, there is just more to my life than “what’s in it for me?” – my heart is OK without solving that equation. A pat on the back is always nice, but certainly not required. Besides, some of the greatest Vision Therapists I’ve ever met are selfless creatures who resist the traps of greed, self importance or a need for accolades. Those humble people are my idols, my heroes.
My thoughts were perhaps best summed up by one of my self proclaimed philosophy professors (aka – a great friend) who equated all the world’s negative influence to a tall tree – each of it’s branches representing a different negative emotion or violation. The challenge was to stay clear of the tree’s shadows, to take the high road, and to not be overly influenced by any negative self-absorbed human traits. No matter how tall the tree became or how far its branches reached, we are always challenged to out reach the branches, to understand that the tree’s shadow and shade may influence our world, but only if we let it. Simply put, we can rise above the tree, or just walk away. The greatest therapists stay clear of the shadows, in fact, they aren’t even in the forest.
The high road can be tough at times, as anyone who has ever been forced to “eat it” can attest. Truly there is no higher road in life than understanding the importance of paying it forward. With an affinity for sarcasm, my favorite example of paying it forward is when a parent will comment that they are nice to their children only because someday their children will choose the parent’s nursing home. The comment is meant in jest, but as with most humor, maintains an element of truth. Paying it forward is important to all of us.
Whenever I have a bad day, become concerned with an overdue bill, get upset about a chore that was overlooked, or realize that Vision Therapy will never make me a millionaire, Mr. Forest Witcraft reminds me to settle down, and focus on the important things:
” A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove – but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child” ~ Forest E. Witcraft
Vision Therapy changes lives – no paycheck or prized possesion will ever top that fact.