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MAGIC OF ATTITUDE
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One
man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain
the fluids from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to
spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families,
their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service,
where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man
in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time
by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside
The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and
color of the outside world.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their
model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color
of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine
view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man
by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on
the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the
picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described
a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band,
he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window
portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought
entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing
everything while I never get to see anything?
It didn't seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed
at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights,
his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began
to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that
window --- and that thought now controlled his life.
Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the
window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs.
The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man
by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening
from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button
which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes,
the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing.
Now, there was only silence-deathly silence.
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their
baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away-no
works, no fuss.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved
next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after
making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully,
he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally,
he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly
turn to look out the window beside the bed...........
It faced a blank wall.
Quotes from the team at Phobias:
There are two steps in solving a problem. Believing you can solve the problem and solving the problem. Once you have established belief you are more than half way there.
You may not always find happiness from your actions, but you will never find happiness from inaction.
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