Wednesday, July 30, 2008

If we pay attention, Life can be a great teacher.

I feel extremely fortunate to have a deeply rooted belief that everything in life happens for a reason. That belief allows me to see value in every circumstance and situation that life has to offer. I may not like the situation, and that is very different than whether it is of value or not. Let me explain how that works for me…..

I know that I tend to over-simplify. The truth is that most of life’s circumstances are very simple. It takes people like us to complicate matters. That said, I have reduced the reason for everything that happens in life to one of two things. They are:

We have something to learn.
We have something to teach.

Truthfully, and more often than not, both are true. Knowing that allows me the opportunity to view all situations as being of value. What is the reason and the value for every challenge we face? We get to decide that for ourselves. Sometimes the reason is abundantly clear. Other times it is not. Even when it is not clear, trusting that there is a reason or purpose, or value, makes accepting the conditions of life easier to do.

Why do I have MS? My list of reasons is very long. I have learned not to take the good health that I enjoy for granted. I have learned to value the relationships in my life at a level beyond any I ever could have dreamed of. For the most part, the experience of living with this disease has been a lesson in GRATITUDE. That lesson alone allows me to wake up as a happy man every day of my life.

Do I have something to teach as well? You bet. As a parent, nothing is more important than what I can teach my children and the best approach to doing that is always by example. What my children see is that although I may have a disabling disease, my life is still, rich, full and I am still able to participate and make a difference in this world. I am pretty certain that these lessons have extended well beyond my family too.

Do I feel challenged by my disease? Absolutely. Yet, I have never felt sorry for myself. I have too much to learn, too much to teach, too much to gain to spend any time feeling sorry for myself.

The big question is this: What do you have to learn? I hope plenty and that by seeing it all as being of value, you can and will teach too.

Better yet, what have you learned already? I hope that you will let me know.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.


  1. Mike,
    Trying to make a real difference is usually done from the heart and often without a lot of thought of what you will get in return. It's always amazed me that things done that way, usually bring you back more than you gave. I hope that will continue to be true for you my friend. I think you are a blessing. Ian

  2. To My Friend & Mentor,
    Thank you for opening up and sharing your thoughts with all of us. I look forward to your many more entries of inspiration. I believe life is a teacher it depends on the student to pay attention.
    Mr. Gerber I'm in your class and I'm ready to pay attention.
    God Bless you, Andri

  3. I can imagine no better start to your blog. Your message is elegant in its simplicity, and eloquent in its sincerity. THIS is my friend! Let me be worthy.

  4. mbg...
    thank you for being a wonderful friend and teacher!
    your buddy...jln in Ohio

  5. Michael - you are an amazing man - I have never seen your face without a smile on it nor have I ever seen your eyes without a twinkle in them - and now you are going to share your thoughts in the hope that you will be a source of truth for others - Gail is the luckiest woman in the world - and you are an amazing man! I truly feel blessed to know you. Karen

  6. Hey Buddy,
    Your approach to life teaches me something every time I am around you...fortunately for me, I'm seeing you tomorrow night. Keep up the good thoughts and writing - you live life well.

  7. hi Michael.........we don't know loss........but your writing has helped me with my own perspective........for which I thank that I am now forming my own gratitude list........a list that will help me move forward with my now you gratitude.................peace and love.........Norma