Perspective can be defined in many ways, but when I think of perspective, I think of attitude as well.

In the past year, I have known of four friends who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, and each of them has had a different perspective on their diagnosis. 

One very good friend was diagnosed late last summer with Multiple Myeloma at the age of 52, shortly after a various successful business transaction for him and his employees. In a manner of a couple of months, he went from cloud nine to the fight of his life. 

What struck me early on was the perspective my friend had toward his diagnosis and what was ahead.  Never, in my presence, did he ever utter a negative thought, only the attitude of wanting to get started on treatment so he could get back to living his life. While he has many things to be thankful for, it seemed during the process (from diagnosis to stem cell transplant to news in April that the transplant was successful and he was in remission) his mission was always the same, “Let’s keep moving forward.”

This particular medical situation has provided me perspective for my professional and personal life on a daily basis. Like my good friend, I TRY not to sweat the small things and focus on the positives. While we always want our NMA activities at the Legislature to be successful, we understand that success can be harder to achieve than in past years, with term limits and other forces working against us.  IF we are not successful, while I always wonder how we could have or should have handled something differently, I prefer to focus on the future and how an item or issue will affect us down the road. 

Perspective keeps us grounded and moving forward, and attitude gives our perspective a chance.  I continue to hope all my friends with their recent diagnoses maintain their perspective on the future and that their battles result in positive outcomes. 

I leave you with this:  most mornings I’m heading for the office just as one of the popular morning news shows is coming on the air. Every day I hear the term, “breaking overnight” followed by a story about a catastrophic weather event, a crime, an airline disaster, etc. Just once, I’d like to leave the house after hearing a positive morning story. I’m optimistic that someday I will!


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