We meet people everyday who have recovered or are in recovery from a major life changing event. Some deem themselves as survivors, and some just positively live their lives looking forward to the future (a thriver). What are the differences between a thriver, a survivor and a person in recovery?
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|}The occasion was the British physicist's annual month sabbatical at California Institute of Technology, and an open-to-the-public lecture titled: "The Origin of the Universe." People lined up for the free tickets 12 hours in advance, and at least one patron turned down $1,000 for his space. To see and hear stephen hawking speak on the Big Bang - or any other topic - is something special.
Another successful politician, Pat Stack is a left wing revolutionary and part of the Socialist Workers Party committee. A child born from a Thalidomide pregnancy he uses a wheelchair. A great political mind and brilliant orator he holds meetings every year at Marxism in London and wrote 'Stack on the Back' for the Socialist Review until 2004.
Look at our galaxy, the Milky Way. It is made out of millions of solar systems like ours. Trillions of stars and planets. Each is made out of matter and matter is made from atoms. Look at our solar system and see how the sun is made out of atoms in constant colossal energy form, constant atomic energy.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States. He contracted Polio in 1921 which left him paralysed from the waist down. Refusing to accept his paralysis he tried different therapies and methods to try and walk and did master walking short distances using iron braces and a cane. He was careful not to be seen in a wheelchair in public. He established a foundation to help others with Polio and directed the March of Dimes program which eventually funded an effective vaccine.
Others I have known have built their whole identities around trauma in the distant past. A woman in her 60s identified herself as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. When we discussed therapeutically removing "survivor" from her identity, she gasped, "Who would I be?" She discontinued therapy.
Where students today compete fiercely for few spots at top schools and sometimes need to have their parents take out second mortgages to pay all their academic expenses, applicants in the era immediately following World War II could seemingly waltz into any school they pleased, paying a few hundred dollars tops for a year of schooling. It goes without saying that those days have long since ended.
Once again, the midlife transition emerges not as a challenge that's difficult to endure, but it's there as a continuing invitation to grow up, to detach from the superficial, to get down to business and go deep. Find out what this thing called 'life' is all about. Immerse yourself in it. Take it to heart as a set of unimaginable possibilities that you'll never be able to exhaust, no matter how long or hard you may live. The lesson of midlife is so simple: it's not how long you live that matters, it's how well!