Sunday, February 3, 2008

Five Inspirational People

Sometimes I meet people or read about people who I either find straight out inspirational or who make me realise that for how ever much I sometimes stick my head up my arse and carp on with self indulgent whining that I generally have it pretty easy. This post is about those people who are out there laughing at and smashing huge challenges and generally not letting any bad vibes bring them down while making egocentric whiny fools like me look pretty average.

So this here is a list of people that I find inspirational (beware a feel good wander away from self centred righteousness follows):

  • Dr Phil Chang: My highly skilled, good natured, generous caring ENT surgeon. This guys a legend; When he's not fixing run of the mill stuff like surfers ear, ruptured ear drums and dodgy schnoz's you'll find him giving kids a life with hearing and generally making peoples lives better. Dr Chang gave my (soon to be niece) a cochlear implant when she was a tiny underweight baby and so now gets to enjoy sound. You can find him here.
  • Ryley Batt: I read about this guy today, Born with no legs and four fingers (thereabouts) he refused to get into a wheel chair (because it was for disabled people) until it came to sport (his preferred mode of transportation before that was a skate board). He now plays wheel chair rugby (aka murder ball) and from what I read coldy destroys what ever challenges he meets at (probably) full pace. Kid should be bringing wake up calls to whiny teenagers across Australia to make the aware of how easy they have it.
  • Mick Fanning: wildly talented surfer, cooly kid, white lightening etc. I rate him because he came back from the heaviest injury and simply, refused, to quit. And so he hit rehab and training like a man possessed and in late 2007 he became the world champ. The other thing I like is he seems like a down to earth guy with a no bullshit attitude which is refreshing in the era of mega hyped , affluent, pampered and pandered to surf stars. I can't wait for him to start slaying in 2008.
  • Jamie Booth: (Disclosure this kid will be my niece when I get married next year - but she is still fricken amazing). Born a massively premature twin, her brother died but she survived, deaf from birth because of the drugs needed to sustain her tiny fragile life and with cerebal palsy the odds were stacked against Jamie. The kids now six and a half, in a wheel chair talking and getting. on. with. it. Yes things are tough for her but she doesn't care, and don't for one minute think she's not smart, oh no the latest 9 bladed gilette razor appears to have an edge like a railway line compared to her brain. She literally radiates good vibes and I know she won't be limited by other peoples expectations of what she can do.
  • Dr Dave Jenkins: Did the opposite of of most peoples mantras in modern life and left. the. money. He abandoned his well paid job in medicine in Singapore to help the people of the Mentawaii's after not being able to process the juxtaposition of wealthy, healthy westerners frolicking in the ocean whilst 200 metres away people were getting felled at disproportionate rates by malaria, dysentery, malnutrition and all manner of things that shouldn't exist in this age of 24/7 internet interconnectivity and washing machines with LCD screens and GPS triangulation to determine where your missing sock is. So a few years later and they have smashed a lot of the malaria in those steamy islands off of north Sumatra and are moving on to other ways to help out. Most people when they were quaffing their nasi goreng and bintangs on the charter boat after getting ridiculously shacked at HT's would have felt bad for a moment for the skinny sick people on land, maybe they would have passed over a grubby fistful of rupiah for a carving or left some board shorts with the locals. Most people certainly wouldn't have left high paying jobs and security to start a grass roots charity for the betterment of people they didn't know.
Well this shapeshifter album has almost finished, I shall retreat to the couch to ponder further people who fire the inspirational synapses in my brain. Remember kids if life is good if you want it to be - not that I always remember that ;)........

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