Friday, April 17, 2009

Disability - an inspirational philosophy

I like to think that I don't dwell too much on my eye condition; most of the time I just ignore it and get on with whatever it is I'm up to. I would certainly hate to be defined by it; if it were the first thing that someone used to describe me, I'd be a bit miffed. I'd rather be described as something like " know, the opinionated idiot with poor dress sense..." than the "bloke with the white stick".

But every so often, the whole thing does get to me and I start doing the whole "why me?" whining in my head. Only natural I suppose, but signally unappealing in company; even I find it irritating after a while.

I'd like to share, though, the brief philosophy of a man who is far more accomplished than I, and also (I'd venture) far more disabled.Nick Van Bloss is a concert pianist of international reputation who suffers appallingly from Tourette's Syndrome; after many years during which he felt unable to perform he will be making a public appearance and giving a recital on the 28th April at the Cadogan Hall.

I heard him interviewed on the radio a few days ago and his philosophy was simple and, for me, hugely inspiring. I paraphrase, but I think I've got the gist.

"The only thing in my life that I have no control over is whether I have Tourette's or not; I cannot change the fact of the condition. But I have absolute control over everything else."

Thank you Mr Van Bloss, you've lifted me up a bit.

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