One of my first memories is falling on cement and scraping my knee. I recall my dad picking me up, taking me inside and getting to work on my injury. He told me not to worry because he was a doctor (two years later when I found out he wasn't a doctor I was pretty upset). He took out the shaving cream and put it all over my leg. He then wiped the shaving cream off and put 20 bandaids on and around my wound. Afterwards he gave me a big cup of Apple J and said "you should feel better in the morning".
Did he put on a bit of a performance? Maybe.
Was it over the top? Yes.
Did it make me feel better? Heck yes.
Vinny had three options in the scenario. He could have said "Suck it up butter cup", He could have cleaned the wound and put one bandaid on it (like most parents would have done), or he could have done what he did, take an unfortunate event and make it memorable and up lifting.
My dad Cal Hicks, Vinny Boberino, or skciH laC as he calls himself, is a healer. He heals through humour and ridiculousness. This man taught me everything I know about optimism and choosing happiness.
Life is going to toss you some curve balls. Some in the form of job losses, injuries, sickness, heartache. You have three choices. You can suck it up and move on. You can deal with the hurt, talk about it, morn the loss, grieve, then move on. Or you can deal with the hurt and strive to be stronger, kinder, and more compassionate because of it.
Through my work, leading trainings and coaching people, I've witnessed the direct correlation between how one handles life's curve balls and how that impacts their optimism and selflessness. To not deal with life altering situations leaves one hard, cold, and unavailable. Brushing hurts under the rug can causes a dullness on the surface of ones life but a deep well of anger below. You can mask the anger with your work, alcohol, drugs, tv, busyness but the anger will prevent you from serving.
If you deal with the situation, talk about it, be angry about it, grieve about it, and understand it has forever changed you. You won't be defined by it, you will be different and more interesting because of it. You will likely meet people that have had similar situations and you will bond over this.
If however, you decide to take the road less travelled, and become an advocate of your situation, this leads to a role of service in your community. To be an advocate is to stand tall and proud of what you have been through. An advocate shares their story and helps others see the sky behind the clouds.
When my father chose to make my scraped knee a positive experience he taught me what it meant to serve another. He taught me through his actions that I can positively impact another’s life simply by being light.
In the wise words of Cal Hicks "Don't worry, I'm a doctor."