As an athletic college freshman, Chris found himself in the hospital, paralyzed from the neck down after a horrific football tackling accident. Understandably distraught, he cried himself to sleep most nights. But then a female physician, Dr. Georgia, came into his room one evening and knelt beside his bed. She said emphatically, “I’m here to tell you—you will beat this. You will beat this.”
He described the conviction in her voice that suddenly gave him back his all-but-lost hope of recovering. From that day on Chris grew stronger, relying on an unshakeable resolve to move his legs and walk again. He worked through painful physical and occupational therapy with the certain knowledge that all the effort and struggle would eventually pay off. Progress was slow, but he went from being able to wiggle a toe to slowly gaining strength enough to walk across his graduation stage and a couple of years later walk down the aisle with his bride.
Chris never gave up after hearing those four powerful words, “You will beat this.” His experience went from tragedy to victory because someone believed and cared enough to share her conviction with him that he had a viable and happy future. Dr. Georgia inspired Chris to share courage and inspiration with everyone he would henceforth encounter in his personal and professional life. We all have the power to hurt or heal or change lives with our words. Which choice will we make?