Sunday, 25 May 2014

New horizons

Among the things that the whole MS 'thing' has shown me are new horizons - and not just the more unexpectedly horizontal ones I see from time to time (or rather, from trip to trip).

Of course there's a world of different futures available to all of us. That, at least, is true for everyone regardless of nasty conditions like multiple sclerosis. But the MS brings a new focus and a whole new range of possible futures. Some aren't even that bad, all things considered.

It's not just the future outcomes that alter, either, it's the manner in which we can wobble towards them. I've strangely become more tolerant of some things and less amenable to others. For example, I'm much more open to a 'fair exchange of views' without allowing my once held prejudices to stand in the way - so what if you believe that all borders should be scrapped without thought of all consequences; you may have a very reasonable idea about one aspect of this new-found freedom. On the other hand I might become very intolerant of people who like to believe that illness must be seen to be believed (anyone try some very invisible trigeminal neuralgia recently?).

All in all, my attitudes to others have radically altered. You might say that my newly discovered ability to offer honest opinions of, and to, others is a natural part of growing older, but I disagree. Quite apart from the fact that so many elderly people seem to have very polarised and inflexible views about so many topics and types of people, my very much opposite change in personality has happened very quickly - almost over night.

I really do see things and people quite differently now. I recognise the glorious bundles of often conflicting views, opinions and beliefs that people hold and I celebrate the fact that we can be such complex animals. No one is a complete saint, nor are they complete bigots (although one or two try very hard...) - and it's this recognition that modifies my own future goals; alters the future landscape.

I have already mentioned that I like to write and that I see this as one of my future (and current) goals - but thanks to the MS I now have new horizons in mind. You never know, perhaps my more balanced (very funny) approach to other people will colour the traits that I bring to my fictional characters. The MS is adding dimensions to my life, even as it removes some of the physical ones, and maybe the people that I create on the page will benefit from some of those new dimensions. Even the stories may have some new horizons...

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