The View

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their friends, where they had been on vacation and even of religion and politics.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the hour describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where rather than the stark confines of the hospital room, his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

As the man by the window described the view in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene: a park with a lovely lake; ducks and swans playing on the water while children sailed their model boats; young lovers walking arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline in the distance.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.  He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.  It faced a blank wall!

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to have described with such passion and in such detail such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

Life is a lens, what’s your view……….

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