Over the past two or three days we have been talking extensively about an exceptional man named Roger Ebert. Roger Ebert was a famous movie critic in the late 1900s and suffered from a cancerous thyroid. He lost his lower jaw and was unable to talk or eat. He went on to start blogging about life, movies, and his own personal struggles. He gained millions of followers and influenced people on a global scale. Unfortunately he died in April of 2013. I certainly see him as an amazing person. His willingness to continue to live through whatever way possible is inspiring. I have never heard or seen anything like Roger Ebert and I am glad that his disabilities did not prevent him from doing what he loved, watching movies and writing. When I first heard what he did in the earlier years of his life it sounded exciting, but at the same time very foreign. His life after the operation almost seemed more common to me. He sounded content and happy with how his life had turned out. This can be seen in my favorite quote of his: "there is no need to pity me, look how happy I am this has led to an explosion of writing." I have the most trouble embodying this, but I feel it is the most important. Being happy even through your troubles is the only way to find real joy in life. Without pain and suffering there would be nothing to compare your happiness to.
One of the questions we tried to figure out during our discussions was why is it that some people sink and others swim when faced with personal tragedy? I can't give a clear definite answer to this question and I don't think anyone can, but me more so than others because I've been lucky. I really haven't been faced with too much personal tragedy, I have been faced with defeat more than anything. Sometimes I'll get discouraged or give up temporarily, but each time I bounce back. I am forced back into my daily routine and regain my optimistic and hopeful outlook on life. I don't have the answer to this question, I can only share my own experiences. One thing I've noticed is that I often reflect the environment I'm put in. If everyone is happy and cheerful in the room I'm in, I will almost all the time be cheerful as well. On the other hand if everyone decided to be a Debbie downer one day I will probably fit the crowd. Maybe this can be related to the question. Individuals who are in a good environment after a tragedy are more likely to swim. I think the only way I could answer this question for sure is if I myself were experiencing a great tragedy that would mean the end of my life. If I knew that I was going to die in 4 months then I would be able to say this made me want to give up, but this pushed me forward. In any case Robert Ebert is the best example of someone who decided to swim even when faced with all of these tragedies pulling him under the surface of the water.