Monday, October 5, 2009

Reframing life: White Coats and A Wheelchair

Today I was sitting in the reception area of a major medical center. While I was waiting, suddenly, right next to me I heard fearful groaning sounds coming from a man who was backing away from three people in white coats walking towards him. It was clear from his behavior that he was developmentally challenged, and everyone in the reception area starting shifting in their seats.

The three "white coats" were trying to calm and coax the man to come with them. It wasn't working. He began groaning louder and saying "No!"

Suddenly, one of the women trying to help him said, "I wonder if a wheelchair would help?" Another of the trio quickly went to get one and they brought it towards the disturbed man saying "Would you like to ride? Do you want to go for a fun ride?" Bingo! He immediately calmed down, started smiling, and hopped right in the chair. I wanted to give a cheer! Everyone immediately relaxed.

I thought about how important the concept of "framing" is. I thought about my own fears and how I could reframe them to not only be less scary, but even fun -- like the wheelchair. I wondered at the lightening speed of emotions and reactions that we all experience in life -- whether it's in business or in our personal worlds.

If we can just remember to reframe, then, in a silvery second, terror can become joyful anticipation, anger can become happiness, despair can become hope, hate can become love.

I know it can happen. I saw it today.


  1. Beautiful post and thanks for sharing. Framing and perspective are so important in life. It's all about looking at challenges as opportunities and seeking the fun element.

    Here's to more people framing the situation with optimism and delight.

  2. I love the idea of "reframing (or framing) a situation with optimism and delight." A wonderful way to think about all the issues one faces in life and understand that although people may want you to act one way (anger, fear, despair) etc, for one's own health and well-being, it may be better to look at things in a different way, and proceed accordingly for the betterment of one's own health and well-being. Thank you.

  3. Thanks to both of you for your comments. I had missed them here! Well, better late than never.