“Cassidy said she is excited that for the first time she will be able to smell and breathe through her nose. ‘I'll have a real nose like everyone else’s,’ she said.”
But what about her other challenges? Even with a functioning nose, she’ll still be blind and will face a lifetime of obstacles and hurdles. This is how Cassidy looks at life, and this is the quote that so impressed me: “Things always may be hard,” Cassidy said, “But here’s what I think: I don’t need easy, I just need possible.”
What would the world look like if all of us lived like this? No eyes? No nose? No problem! She rides go-karts, has even tried playing baseball, and is curious, adventurous, and independent.
With severe physical handicaps that almost none of us could ever relate to, not to mention her numerous surgeries, her spirit remains indomitable. And some of her inspiration comes from the movie Soul Surfer, telling the story of another courageous young woman, Bethany Hamilton, who at 13 years-old lost her arm to a shark while surfing, only to return to the waters as a champion surfer. (She actually went back to surfing just one month after losing her arm.)
And it is from the Soul Surfer story that Cassidy learned the line, “I don’t need easy, I just need possible.”
Yes, Cassidy (and Bethany) tell us, life may be hard, but that’s nothing new. Life has never given anyone a free pass, and it has dealt some people absolutely crippling blows. But, as the saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and if it doesn’t break you it will make you.
And so, rather than having an endless pity party or living in hopeless despair, Cassidy is here to tell us to quit making excuses, to quit blaming others, to quit feeling sorry for ourselves, and to quit looking for an easy escape. Instead, she reminds us that, “Things always may be hard. But here’s what I think: I don’t need easy, I just need possible.”
Time for an attitude adjustment, anybody?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.