This I Believe

Nancy - pawling, New York
Entered on August 29, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe

Once upon a time I believed I’d be a miracle worker, changing the lives of those less fortunate than myself, those with mental retardation, with autism, the deaf, the blind, the children of abuse…I went to school to do this, I volunteered to do this, I read all the books of others who had done this…taught the blind to see with their fingers, taught the child of abuse to love again, taught the unreachable child to laugh, cured the pain, erased the anger of those who had suffered…this is what I believed…I went out into the world believing this was my mission, I could do this, I would do this and then it happened…I was no longer the teacher, I was the student, I learned about patience, I learned about forgiveness, I learned of unconditional love, I learned about gratitude, and I learned the lesson of joy. I began to know the miracle of a smile, a touch, a glance, of a day well spent,of laughter and tears and I learned about life…Those to whom I wanted to give the miracle of what I believed gave me the miracle of what they already knew, the miracle of joy… and I believed. I was given the gift of their time, their presence, their knowledge their wisdom and I live my life by this lesson…I believe in joy…the joy found in a wildflower waving in the breeze, this I learned from a child with autism intently watching this wildflower and smiling sweetly, the joy of unconditional love, this I learned from a mentally retarded woman whose face lit up when she saw me again after 10 long years, the joy of a touch, this I learned from a blind young man who softly touched my face and smiled in recognition, the joy of laughter learned when a young man with cerebral palsy crossed the finish line in a race, the joy of accomplishment when an older gentleman with an amputated leg wore his artificial limb and walked down the hallway on his own for the first time….these were the miracles given to me and I learned the lesson…and I believed in joy.

I have lived my life with joy at my core and try each and every day to find the joy, to find the miracle and when I lay my head on my pillow each night, I am grateful, for the miracle of those who have touched my life and have taught me to joy.