One of the ways I navigate through life’s challenges is to read about people who endure hardships or recover from setbacks. Such inspiring stories reinforce how lucky I am and quickly reframe my mindset to positive. These people are somehow invariably galvanized to respond and recover in such a resolute but optimistic fashion.
I found one such story in the Gladstone Observer (Gladstone is a town 550 km north of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia) as told by Neighbours’ actress Madeleine West who was run over and nearly killed by a bus but who recovered and resumed her TV acting career (appearing subsequently in shows like Satisfaction, House Husbands, Underbelly, Fat Tony & Co and The Wrong Girl).
I have reproduced below what she learned from the accident:
In a sense, the bus left me not just with a bundle of scars, a bit of a stutter and a dodgy eyebrow, but with many, many gifts.
- A clear vision of what I wanted tempered by an appreciation for the frailty of humanity.
- A willingness to forgive others which inexorably taught me to forgive myself for my perceived flaws and failings.
- To embrace my faults not as a handicap or disadvantage, but an opportunity to learn and identify that these “quirks” are what truly make me unique.
- Finally, I learned that no-one should ever be forced to give up their dreams. No matter who we are, where we come from or how we look, our dreams are what sustain us. Our ambitions get us out of bed in the morning, and if you have the courage, the determination, the drive, and the willingness to work hard to transform the dream into reality, then nothing can stop you … not even a bus.
These were gifts and qualities crafted by Madeline from the aftermath of the accident – read her full story