Listen to episode 378 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Disability & Infirmity | Inspirational Stories. Edited and adapted from The Book of Courage by William James Dawson.
Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If our podcast has inspired you to live a happier, more successful, life, please do let us know by leaving a review at the iTunes store, or you can also email me directly at living[at]livinghour.org. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Book of Courage by William James Dawson, published in 1911.
IT is a common saying that health is one of those possessions that is not valued until it is lost. Like sunshine, fresh air, water, and sleep, it seems less a boon bestowed than our natural heritage. We assume that it is ours beyond all threat of loss, and this in spite of a hundred instances to the contrary. Few people, in estimating the manifold perils of life, trouble themselves over the possibility of a sudden infirmity. And yet the risk is always there.
Now, let us say that this risk turns to reality and some permanent, physical disability afflicts us. What then? Is that the end of our hopes and dreams? No, not ever. History has shown us countless examples of individuals who have, by sheer force of will, made their bodies serve them, and compelled frail or damaged physical machinery to accomplish great purposes.
One popular theory of personality represents the body as a kind of house into which there is introduced a spiritual tenant, commonly known as the Soul. The soul is not so much born with the body as injected into it. It possesses the body, but is no more of the substance of the body than I am of the substance of the bricks, mortar, marble, glass, or woodwork that combine to give me shelter.
This is not only a noble theory, but it is patently a fact. I am represented to the casual observer by my body, and (as like as not) misrepresented. The body is, in reality, no more than a means to an end — just as writing is not thought, but the means of thought. What is more natural than that this personality or soul of mine should be able to impose its will upon the body, and even to overrule its frailties and infirmities?