Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LIVING, BREATHING AND ALIVE

courtesy of "O' magazine
Oprah sent this quote to me. She did, really. I signed up to be a "fan" or rather a "friend" on her website and periodically I receive some really great uplifting, affirmative emails. The topic for this set of emails was:"15 Quotes to Keep you Going".
I am always curious as to the choice of words that are used to describe the "living" of our lives. Words such as "participate" and "seeking", and my favorite is "Live like you Mean It".
This quote from Christopher Reeve really touched me. Here was a man, who was able to live twice in one lifetime. In his first time around he experienced fame and fortune as a successful actor playing Superman. And then tragically an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. I can't imagine having something like that happen to me or my husband. It's funny how people will  perceive a person when he is down and out. The world started to count Christopher Reeve out  and even eulogize him. But he did not count himself out. When he was alive, there were always stories of his adjusting to life as a quadriplegic, but also of how his family was forever changed and became better. He decided to "continue" to actively participate in his life. He wrote a few books, he started a charity to help people with spinal cord injuries, he was a spokesperson for that charity. I remember watching an interview with him, where the reporter asked how did he show affection for his family. What a personal question. At the time of his accident he had a son who was still a toddler, and the reporter wondered how did he express his physical love to a child who really needed that "physical" affection in his life. So he said that he made it a priority to verbally express his love and to be in the moment with his family. Even though he was strapped in his special chair, he encouraged his son and others to touch him, to hug him and kiss him. To talk to him about every single thing and he would give them his absolute attention. He had an apparatus where he could strap his son in with him in the chair and hold him, but mostly it allowed his son to realize that his dad was a living breathing person who was alive.

I have always wondered, when do you really start to live your life? Does every year you live up until the point you make a decision to "really live" count? What is our purpose for this life?
I have learned a lot from this quote and from what I remember about the life of Christopher Reeves. Isn't that one way to have joy in this life is to live a life where when people, any one, remembers you, they are inspired and even motivated by the choices you have made?

2 Nephi 2:24-25
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
Joy, what is joy? I think that Christopher Reeve knew a thing or two about joy.
Our Creator wants us to be happy in this life. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “happiness is the object and design of our existence.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 255.) The things of the earth were created for our happiness. Modern revelation tells us that “all things which come of the earth … are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.” (D&C 59:18.) Even on the Sabbath, a day of worship, the Lord expects us to have “a glad heart and a cheerful countenance.” (D&C 59:15.) A prophet has called the gospel plan “the great plan of happiness.” (Alma 42:8.)  Dallin H. Oaks: Joy and Mercy
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