This story is incredibly touching.
And while it may seem like a sad story, because when we watch it or hear about it, we will be associating the experiences of this young man, Jonathan Pitre, with what we would do and feel if we were in his shoes. Which is likely loads of self-pity and wallowing in negativity each day, but what I would encourage anyone who watches this to recognize is the light within him.
See the light that’s in Jonathan’s heart and be happy for it, but also make sure to understand what it takes for him to maintain that. It’s inspiring and moves me to constantly remember that anything I feel is painful or hopeless, is nothing more than an obstacle, which I can choose to view as a roadblock or I can choose to view as an opportunity for strength and success.
Imagine living with the immense pain that Jonathan lives with all over his body. Now imagine living with that pain each and every day of your life. Imagine that it does not ever get better, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel—no possibility of it ever dissipating.
And then imagine finding the strength to get up each and every day, knowing what awaits you, and still looking forward to your life, still maintaining a positive perspective and motivation to make the most out of what could easily be seen as an entirely hopeless situation.
This condition effects every single part of his life.
From the smallest aspects like eating and drinking or using the restroom, to larger things like the activities he’s able to engage in and any social life, hobbies or work he’d like to do. Most parts of Jonathan’s life are severely limited in ways that we could never imagine truly coping with.
And yet, he gets up out of bed each and every day, and he continues to have a spirit and hold a positive outlook about his life.
Jonathan continues to seek and find purpose in his life.
I’m sure he certainly has his bad days, no doubt about it.
He’s human, and while he’s a strong human, he most certainly is going to have his moments of weakness in which I’m sure he questions his purpose and the necessity of him being here in this life, enduring this pain over and over, feeling restricted from experiencing the many things in life that the rest of us tend to take for granted.
But he continues to push through, knowing that there’s never actually going to be a point in time when his efforts are met with what I think we all would see as a “success” here, which would be living pain free and having the ability to live a normal life.
Jonathan will not have that, yet he pushes through and speaks of positivity, dreaming, helping and loving. And it’s beautiful.
This provides some strong perspective for me, as well as an immense sense of love and gratitude for this young man—for his strength in finding purpose in his life each and every day and for his strength and selflessness in sharing his story. It leaves him vulnerable and exposed, but rather than wallowing in self-pity, hiding from the world and diving into a sea of darkness, in his mind and emotions, he found strength. He found purpose.
And it blows me away, reminding me of just how trivial most of our “problems” in life are, as well as just how insignificant most of what we value in life is. The way that we look, the status we hold, the power we have, the things we own—it’s all insignificant, and every bit of it can be taken from us in an instant.
Then what? What happens when we place our value in things that can change at any moment? What this story highlights is someone who was never given the opportunity to place his value in any of those things, and he has taken that as an opportunity in and of itself.
Jonathan has taken the opportunity that he’s been given, to find his true value, which lies in his heart and in the purpose he has in this life—he holds onto that so strongly.
That cannot ever be taken away from him, not even in death, and I think it’s a lesson that many of us can truly learn from.
Placing value in something as trivial as physical appearance or ability, in the things we have or in the opinions that others have of us, is putting our worth in the hands of what’s temporary and, ultimately, insignificant.
When we learn to focus on what truly matters—what’s in our hearts—our whole world changes. As a result, the world changes.
My thoughts and prayers go out to this amazing young man and his friends and family, who make sure he’s surrounded by love and support.
Jonathan Pitre is an inspiration and a light—I’m grateful for his existence.
Author: Audrey Jennifer
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock