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

Posted October 30, 2008 by michaelbgerber
Categories: Disability, Gratitude, Perspective

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…..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.

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.

Living with a disability: What a blessing.

Posted October 29, 2008 by michaelbgerber
Categories: Disability, Gratitude, Perspective


I have MS – Multiple Sclerosis. Since being diagnosed, the disease and my disability have both greatly progressed. I used to be a jogger. Today I use a walker or wheelchair to go anywhere. I used to drive and work 50 plus hours a week. I no longer drive or work. I used to make a very good living. Today I live on disability income. I have always been a pretty happy guy. Today, I can honestly say that I am happier than I have ever been.

“Being happy no matter what” is what this blog is all about. This experience of living with a disability, has taught me more than I ever could have learned in school, or from books, or from a life without incident. I want to use this blog to share what I have learned, discuss perspective and gratitude, debate my concepts and beliefs and hopefully create, cause or impact you, the reader, to see your life and circumstances differently.

Over time I hope to demonstrate these few things:

If we pay attention, life is a great teacher.
Circumstances have nothing to do with happiness.
This “glass half empty – glass half full” concept is baloney.
The greatest asset that we all possess and our greatest challenge in life are one in the same.

There will be much to discuss and more topics to talk about. I hope that you will join me, participate with me, share with me and teach me as we embark upon this journey.

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


Posted November 7, 2008 by michaelbgerber
Categories: Disability, Gratitude, Perspective

I am changing the way I celebrate my birthday. I hope you will join me.

My birthday is the time for me to celebrate my life. My life is filled with scores of amazing people who make a difference to me. It is the time for me to acknowledge everyone who makes my life “My Life.” If there are any cards or presents to be given, they will be given by me to those who matter most. It is now my one and only day a year that I celebrate birthdays – MINE.  It is my day to celebrate you.
Instead of several times a year having to worry about whose birthday is remembered, sending cards and buying gifts, I do all of that just once a year. Think how nice it would be if on our birthday we all gave to those who matter most to us. That somehow seems incredibly appropriate.
If I make a difference to ten or twenty people, then instead of my getting cards and gifts from them once a year, I am getting acknowledged by them all year long, throughout the year on their birthday. The people closest to me are calling me on their birthday to tell me that I make a difference in their lives. My birthday is spent calling them to say “you make a difference in my life.”
Hallmark won’t like it. Retailers and bakeries may not like it either. If I do buy presents for people, than my birthday may become more expensive. But it is only once a year. I better start saving now for next year.
If you are reading this, than you make a difference in my life and thank you. In honor of you and to celebrate my birthday, I have made a donation to the National MS Society.
Not getting any cards on your birthday? Good. It will be easy for you to get started. Just start making a difference to someone today.


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