15 December 2008

An Epiphany In the Most Unlikely Place 出乎意料的啟發

One of the greatest inventions of our time is the video Podcast. It allows news junkies like myself to catch up on world events anytime and anywhere. Among my favorite Podcast programs are CBS’s 60 Minutes, NBC’s Meet the Press and CBC’s World at Six. All the information at my fingertips, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Last week at the gym, I worked out to the latest edition of World at Six, a half-hour daily news program produced by Canada’s national public broadcaster. I was gripped by a news story about the “Highway of Heroes,” the stretch of Highway 401 between Trenton and Toronto dedicated to Canadian military personnel killed in Afghanistan. The CBC reporter interviewed the mother of a fallen soldier, who tearfully thanked the public for their support.

The news story got me all choked up in the middle of my ab exercises. I tried to imagine the paralyzing pain the mother must feel. Friends and family would offer condolences, but it was the mother herself who must face the finality of her child’s death. The Canadian woman knew she had to make a choice: get on with her life or become a permanent victim.

The recent financial market meltdown and the global recession that ensued have caught everyone off guard and plunged us into a state of collective depression. Everywhere you goin the elevator, at a restaurant or on the bus people swap horror stories about job cuts and stock market losses. Television, radio and newspapers bombard us with never-ending bad news and a dismal outlook on what is still to come. Like many others, I saw my investments shrivel in front of my eyes like the Incredible Shrinking Woman. The worst part is that I now have to defer or give up some of the projects that I have planned to do, things that mean the world to me, such as publishing a book, recording a music album and pursuing photography professionally. I often work myself into a tizzy just thinking about how dreams delayed are dreams denied, and what my life would have been had I not lost so much in such a short period of time. Like the Canadian woman in the news report, I have to make a choice.

And so in the middle of the sweaty gym, amidst the noises of clanging dumbbells and humming treadmills, I made a promise to myself: I will not wallow in negativity and let this turn of events take over my life. Instead, I will take it all in stride and hope that, one day, some good will come out of it.

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