Clive: a lesson


Clive RiceClive Rice died yesterday.  With gratitude to his peaceful, resting soul and respect to his family, his last public feat delivered an important lesson to us all.

In this Carte Blanche (a local magazine programme) segment, we see Clive’s (an historically favourite cricketer) health update as he struggled with a brain tumour.  It shows the trip he took to India for the state-of-the-art non-invasive surgery I mentioned in a previous post.  He seemed to be doing well and the special surgery was a success – until he died months later of sepsis in hospital back home having been admitted with severe stomach ache.

Firstly, sepsis is too easy to contract in any hospital so I’m willing to bet it was unrelated to anything.  Secondly, his demise doesn’t mean the surgery was a waste of anything.  There is a warning in there, however.

False hope kills

I’m sure the segment gave many desperate sufferers hope.  Hope of an easy out. Hope to the end of their suffering.  Hope for a new life.  The thing about hope is, it’s so dangerous.

There’s a fine line between a realistically positive outlook and a desperate crossing of fingers for a solution.  Both contain degrees of hope but the latter is the false one; the one that kills.

In my experience, there cannot be anything worse than opening yourself up to major disappointment such as the promise of a miracle cure.  You only damage and kill your own spirit.  When you desperately hope for a good result and it really could go either way, you have a 50% chance of being let down.  What kind of odds are those?  Perhaps those of a child hoping beyond hope in front of a Christmas tree for a unicorn to appear.  When you’re in very poor health, the one thing you can rely on and must nurture is your spirit.  It shapes your feelings, your reactions, your thoughts, your attitude, your life.  Everything starts there.

No hope also kills

There’s a fair argument that says if you numb yourself to the highs and lows, then you aren’t living.  The trick, I believe, is to be realistic.  Yes, the surgery might be the miracle cure you’ve been waiting for but if it’s not, life will go on – especially if you have something (lessons / issues) internal to clear up.   There’s no escape yet life’s not a prison.

I’m learning to love these areas of greyness.  I’ve found that fine line of hope – the one that works for only me – and I straddle its zig-zag boundary laughing in the face of the hazardous side and jeering at the safety of the predictable side.

Pinches of salt

Clive was 66 years old.  He made history in his cricketing career.  He was well-respected among peers and adored by fans.  His time had come.  We cannot stop the ravages of time on our bodies.  Clive left us with the ultimate gift – know that there is hope but also know that no matter how much you will it, you are not infallible.  Life is easier when you face it in your adult wisdom so take it all in but get rid of the information that doesn’t resonate with you. What else would be the use of everything you’ve learned up ‘til now?


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