The Silver Lining

Marilyn - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on March 11, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in the silver lining, that benefit from hardship.

Exactly four days before my sixteenth birthday, I injured my left foot during volleyball practice, and was required to wear a cast and walk with crutches. Now, there is something about crutches, and almost anyone will attest to this, that makes them seem so fun. For some reason, we all want to try them out and walk around on them for a while because it looks like so much fun. Of course, being on crutches was no picnic, and the very first day using them was near torture. That night, after having gimped my way through hallways, back and forth between buildings, and up- and downhill numerous times, my upper arms felt as if I had done 300 pushups. Not to mention the fact that my armpits and hands were incredibly sore and my foot swollen. With crutches, everyday tasks became much more difficult: walking around; showering, which I had to do while standing on one foot; opening doors and walking through them without getting slammed; getting books from my (bottom) locker; and carrying anything. I couldn’t play any sports or even sleep well, on account of the unbearable throbbing. My right foot hurt agonizingly, since it supported most of my weight everyday, but worst of all was the constant pain of the fractured foot.

Despite these problems, being on crutches actually had an upside. Other students became instantly kinder and more helpful, holding doors open, moving chairs out of my way, offering to carry my books. I was allowed to ride the elevators in school and had a legitimate and perfect excuse to be late to every single class. Even my friends benefited from these advantages. It was even OK for me to be totally lazy, because no one expected me to do anything, seeing as I couldn’t walk.

As clichéd as it sounds, being on crutches taught me a couple of lessons, in a way. It made me realize how important fully functioning feet really are. It made me realize that having crutches is really not much fun when they are your only means of walking. It made me realize that people, especially high school students, can be sympathetic toward the plight of others and be helpful. And more importantly, it made me realize that while those who try out crutches just for fun can go back to using their own feet whenever they want to and that I would be healed in a few months, there are still many individuals who do not have these options and cannot walk at all. This fact made me grateful that I would eventually regain the use of both feet.

Unpleasant events that can lower your spirits and make you miserable, like breaking a foot, can often turn out for the better and make positive impacts. To quote a well-known proverb, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” This I believe.