A friend recently shared a video on Facebook that I found interesting and instructional for a number of reasons. Aisha Chaudhary was born with an immune deficiency disorder because of which doctors thought she wouldn’t live beyond her first birthday. Today she lives with a lung disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis; however she is an artist of remarkable talent and an individual of remarkable fortitude and wisdom. I would like to share with our readers the videos of Aisha Chaudhary – and also the life lessons that I think each one of us can learn from this positive little individual.
1. Happiness is a worthy life ambition
When we say ‘ambition’ we tend to think of a career, success and recognition. Certainly each one of us should strive to be as successful as possible within our chosen spheres, but the ambition of ‘merely’ attaining happiness is a very worthy one too. When you think of it, isn’t all ambition geared towards feeling happy? If you want to be rich, famous or successful, you want these things because you believe they will make you happy. So really the ultimate goal of life is happiness – or at least it should be.
2. Optimism is always an option
Your doctor could tell you that your new born baby has less than a year to live. Or you could be told that you have to live the rest of your life with terrible disease. You could decide that things are hopeless, or you could decide that you choose to grab whatever hope is held out to you. There is always something positive in each situation. Sometimes life seems to ask me to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. But even in the grimmest of situations, there is some hope.
3. The power of the mind is limitless
Human beings have a tremendous ability to achieve what we set our minds on. The power of the mind can cure illness – the efficacy of placebo medications is an example of this. We have that ability within each one of us: to defeat the odds and accomplish that which seemed difficult; even impossible.
4. Things aren’t as bad as they seem
This is a cliché that our elders typically soothe us with – they tell us this too shall pass. It will! Time is a tremendous healer. The immediacy and proximity of our problems do in fact make those problems seem worse than they are. So what if Aisha is stuck on a hospital bed with a tube in her nose, she takes delight in her new puppy – such delight that it overshadows her pain. So what if she’s in a wheelchair, she poses for a photo-shoot!
5. You are never too young to be wise
Aisha Chaudhary is 17 but she is wise way beyond her years. She has sorted out life in ways that most older people can only hope to do. Wisdom is not about the number of years we spend on earth, but about the way in which we utilise the time we have here. And yes! There is no indignity in accepting the wisdom and insight of a person we perceive as young and inexperienced – a small child can teach us a thing or two about honesty, about embracing the joys of life, of loving unreservedly.
6. Anyone can dare to dream
So what if you have a life threatening condition, struggle with financial difficulties or have any number of other problems. You can still dream to achieve what you desire. Just because you and I may be hamstrung with seemingly insurmountable problems, you and I don’t have to give up on our dream; give up on life!
7. Problem or Opportunity? You choose
As Aisha Chaudhary turned to art when she was in a wheel chair and unable to participate in normal activities that kids around her took for granted, so can we transform a problem into an opportunity. It all depends upon our perspective. We could look at a broken leg as a terrible misfortune that keeps us from a normal life or we could look upon it as a wonderful opportunity to listen to music, read books and watch movies that we’ve been meaning to – things that we didn’t seem able to find time for otherwise.
8. “Why Me” is a Futile Phrase
No matter how terribly unfortunate you think yourself to be, no matter how terrible your affliction, someone else is sure to be worse off than you. Self pity is not only futile; it is a most unattractive quality. People who might otherwise sympathise will reconsider their compassion – surely if you’re giving yourself that much sympathy, you will not need more from others!
By – Reena Daruwalla