PUT ON A NEW FACE
by Joe Bonura, CSP
A New Look
As I walked into the room, my wife was watching Good Morning America.
Diane Sawyer was interviewing Connie Culp, who had the first face
transplant in the United States at the Cleveland Clinic. They compared
pictures of her face before and after the surgery, and my wife and
I were amazed at the transformation.
Happy To Be Alive
The real transformation was not on the patient's outside; it was
on her inside. Connie was chosen by the Cleveland Clinic to have
the surgery because of her courage, humor, and love of life. All
three traits were obvious as I observed the interview. She expressed
how happy she is even though the face transplant looks nothing like
her former appearance. She is simply happy to be alive.
Look At The Monster
Connie Culp recounted an incident when she was grocery shopping,
and a little girl yelled to her mom, "Look at the monster."
Connie asked permission to speak with the child, and showed the
child a picture of her driver's license so that she could see what
she looked like before the tragic event of losing her face. The
little girl smiled and said, "WOW!"
Connie shared that it does not matter what you look like, you will
always worry about something. She pointed out that too often we
judge people by what we see on the outside, instead of looking at
what is on the inside. Her guiding principle is to not focus on
the negative when there is so much positive that we can stress.
The Third Degree
A good friend of mine, W. Mitchell, had a similar experience. Mitchell,
as he likes to be called, had a motorcycle accident and received
third degree burns over three-quarters of his body. He lost some
of his fingers, and his face was severely burned. In another accident
years later, he was paralyzed from the waist down.
Mitchell related that his turnaround came when he was in rehabilitation
and feeling sorry for himself. A nurse asked him to give encouragement
to a young man who was depressed because he was injured in a parachuting
accident and would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his
life. Mitchell's initial reaction was to question why she would
choose him to encourage someone, while Mitchell himself obviously
From Ten Thousand To Nine Thousand
As Mitchell wheeled over to the young man, he had an epiphany,
not only for the young man, but for himself as well. He told the
young man that before their accidents they could probably do over
ten thousand things in life, but since their accidents, they could
only do nine thousand things. Mitchell asked him if he was going
to focus on the one thousand things that he could not do, or if
he was going to work on becoming the best that he could be at doing
the nine thousand things that he could still do. And then he said,
"It is not what happens to us in life that is important, it
is what we do about it that counts." Today W. Mitchell is one
of the most respected and requested motivational speakers in the
U.S. and around the world.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
OK. So maybe you should take a look at yourself in the mirror.
What do you see? You are looking at a world of opportunity. You
are looking at the person responsible for your future, and a success
waiting to happen. What you see is up to you.
I Like It, I Like It
As my beautiful wife was looking in the mirror recently, I heard
her saying, "I don't like this about the way I look, and I
don't like that about the way I look." I related to her the
time we gave a gift to one of our grandchildren - the gift that
she spent a long time selecting, as well as wrapping with special
paper and ribbon. When we presented it to our grandchild, he ripped
open the packaging and remarked that he did not like the toy. We
remembered our disappointment at his reaction. I told my wife to
look again into the mirror and tell God that she did not like the
present that He gave her. She looked into the mirror and said, "Thank
One Of A Kind
You are very special - one of a kind. Others know it, but do you
know it? It is time to have a heart-to-heart talk with the person
in the mirror. Consider Connie Culp and W. Mitchell and how they
chose to handle the lemons that life gave them. Besides your negative
mental attitude, what is holding you back? We all have bad days,
but it is a serious concern when those bad days turn into weeks,
months, and years.
Reflections Of A Winner
Return to your mirror of life and say a great big, "Thank
© 2009 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.