I am not what others think of me.

My father contracted polio as a small child. The result was a malformed left leg and foot which he has lived with his entire life. He walked with a decided limp. As a child, when I would walk with him in public, passersby would often turn and stare wondering what might be wrong with him. I never ever noticed my father being concerned or bothered by other people taking notice that he was physically challenged. I was bothered however. His condition became the inspiration for living the life of his choosing.

In visiting my father yesterday, I reflected on his example as I pushed him along in his wheelchair under the sunny Colorado sky as others walked by and noticed him lilting to one side. Still clinging to life, unable to walk, I felt a love for him that seemed to have vacated my heart for decades. I was remembering what he had lived with for eighty-six years, all the stares and misdirected judgments that others had laid at his feet. In spite of this, he so often had a broad grin and an appreciation for where he had come from and what he had gone through. He lived the life he had dreamed of.

I kissed his cheek and thanked him for his priceless example of how to live. Unable to speak he eked out a wry smile.

Most of us fall short of who we believe we are supposed to be because we have become overly concerned about what others might think of us. Live the life you are called to live. Let the world deal with it. That which distinguishes you is your wealth.