Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Circle of Problems

This past Sunday I was watching Inside Actor's Studio and James Lipton's guest was Michael J. Fox. I love Lipton's rapid fire interview style and what open honest answers he is able to get from some of today's leading movie and television stars. And I have to admit, I enjoy hearing what famous people did to get their big breaks. Success leaves clues you know and we just have to know where to look to find them. Mr. Lipton's guests have provided me many fascinating clues, that's why I enjoy watching the show whenever I can.

On Sunday it was repeat episode of Michael J. Fox's appearance from 2005. As most of you probably already know, I am huge fan of Michael J. Fox having blogged previously about his inspirational battle with Parkinson's disease.

I always pick up something from these interviews and this one was no exception. Mr. Lipton had asked Michael about dealing with the problem of Parkinson's and he relayed a great story about God. It seems God invited a bunch of people who had been complaining about their lives and problems and invited them to all gather in one big circle. He then asked everyone to take "their" problem and put it in the middle of the circle. With the "their" problem now gone they were free to select a new problem from the pile of problems and to take it as their own.

Everyone went back to the pile and picked up their old problem and went home.

I am totally paraphrasing this story of course but the point that Michael J. Fox was trying to make was his problems aren't any bigger or worse then someone else's problems. When we compare them to what other people are going through ours don't seem all that bad. Perhaps when faced with the opportunity to switch problems it helps us gain a better perspective and anchored reality that we really aren't that bad off after all.

What problems are you facing right now that you think are just so insurmountable that you think about giving up or giving in? Compare that to be being diagnosed with cancer like my sister Sheri was. Compare that to being faced with the possibility of going blind (again) like my father is. Compare that to someone who lost a small child to an accident. Compare that to this being the last day of someone's life.

No I suspect when faced with placing our problems in the middle of our little circle they wouldn't look so bad after all. No...not so bad at all.

Thanks Michael J. Fox for being such an inspiration to me and to helping me remember no matter what I am facing in my life, someone else always, always has it worse than me.

To see an unrelated but very inspirational segment of the show where Michael talks about getting his big break click here. And to learn more about The Michael J. Fox Foundation click here!

Ripple On!!!



Anonymous said...

As usual Steve - you pick up on the most amazing things from watching interviews - I hope you have an amazing day!
Love you

wornoutwoman said...

I love this post. I'm a huge fan of his too and completely agree with you on bearing our own problems. We all have our burdens, and God will carry them if we let Him. It's a matter of perspective! Thanks for the wonderful reminder!
You should go to:
It's something I listed yesterday that focuses on something similar!

Anji said...

Thanks for the lesson, I'll try to always remember tha one.