I warn you that this post might be something that a lot of people can't handle. They may not want to know or care about such a strange story or they may think it is just too depressing. I found it inspirational.
The person that I am talking about is Shiloh Pepin who is probably better known as "the Mermaid girl". She is called this because she has a rare condition called Sirenomelia which causes her legs to be fused together. I am terrible at medical stuff and while that part is interesting to me, what I was more amazed at was this girls love of life and strength of character.
TLC is airing a documentary about the last 6 months of her life. Sadly, Shiloh passed away at the end of 2009.
Watching the troubles that this girl overcame on a daily basis and watching her do it with such strength and faith made me feel like a weak man. I even changed my signature in the forum to quote Shiloh, not out of sympathy, but out of respect for the wisdom of a 10 year old girl who was able to see the good side of life despite the bad things that had happened to her.
I got depressed and felt bad about myself over some crazy chick who dumped me without even so much as an apology and this girl has gone through more hardship in her life than I could even imagine. All of the things that I worry about like finances and relationships and other silly things are simply inconveniences. Money isn't important. Beauty isn't important. Power isn't important. Strength of character and integrity is what's important in life. After watching this girls life, I have a new conviction to be a stronger person.
Everyone reading this who whines about how hard their life is should take a good, long, hard look at themselves and where their life is going. You don't even know what it is like to truly struggle. I don't have a lot of sympathy for whiners who won't help themselves. I then get called an un-compassionate asshole for it. But can you look at this girl and still tell me that you have truly struggled in life? I can't and I am not afraid to admit that.
I made a small donation to her benefit fund to help build more handicap accessible playgrounds and I would encourage others, if they are able, to do the same. It is the least that I can do to thank you Shiloh.
A 10 year old girl showed me what real strength is all about.