5 June 2019, Melbourne, Australia
If you had one wish for someone you cared for, what would it be?
I want to tell you a story. I like telling stories.
I’m a new grandfather, with my new grandson, Cooper. I can’t protect Cooper forever. As much as I love him, my wish for him, is for him is for him to understand a few things.
Life’s good. But life doesn’t promise to be fair. I’d like to tell Cooper, ‘Look mate there’ll be good times, but there will be hard times. There will be mundane times. Life can be tough.’
My wish for Cooper is that he can conduct himself in the face of hardship. Life is difficult Life is tough. And I wish for Cooper, like I wish for you people, and you’ll wish for people you love, you can conduct yourself in the right manner when things get tough.
Because in life, it’s not IF it’ll be tough, it just when, and how often. And when that happens for him, I don’t want him to fold. I don’t want him to be another life victim.
So what is the right way? What is the right way to conduct yourself in difficult times?
The right way is to somehow summon the courage, the moral courage to take responsibility. And sometimes you’ll say, ‘well it wasn’t my fault, I was the victim, it’s not my responsibility, it’s someone else’s’.
No matter what happens, it’s up to you to do something about it. Have the courage to accept responsibility, don’t shy away from it, don’t baulk, don’t procrastinate, don’t handball it to someone else.
And by doing that, what will emerge inside you, is the better side of your character. That will allow you to prevail. That will allow you to move through it. And it might even allow you to transcend, and that’s what I hope Cooper learns.
And finally taking responsibility means looking for the opportunity. When life gets difficult, you think it’s a train wreck, there’s no opportunity, there’s always opportunity.
I was diagnosed with a disease that will kill me. No treatment, no cure. No hope, some say. Where’s the opportunity.
I tell ya. If you’re in the blame game. If you’re in woe is for me.
Poor bugger me. You’ll never find it. You’re looking to blame someone.
There’s always opportunity, and my opportunity was to fight MND. And that’s allowed me to prevail. It’s allowed me to find purpose, to transcend, what’s happening to me.
I wish Cooper learns what the right way is. I can’t protect him. He’s gotta take on that responsibility himself. Your attitude in any circumstance … to choose your way, that’s something not only to wish for, but to aspire to.
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