Bro, everything will get better!

Zhang Sanjian is back 2024-03-06 19:12

Zhang Sanjian 2022-01-28 18:00


After overcoming this hurdle, everything will get better.  Very good, super good, incredibly good!

By a stroke of luck, I came across this book. When I finished reading the preface, I wholeheartedly wanted to recommend this book to everyone.

In this book, I saw the resilient vitality of a young girl and her yearning for life. Most importantly, she can face the hardships that fate has given her with an optimistic attitude.”

Accepting Fate

I’d like to share my humble thoughts on this. The author mentions “accepting fate” here. The word “accept” may sound like surrender or giving in, which can feel a bit discouraging. However, after reading this book, I didn’t feel any sense of despair. So, I believe that our lives should be about “going along with fate” rather than merely “accepting” it.

Why use the word “顺” (go along with) then? It’s because, regardless of what fate brings us, whether it brings us great happiness or heavy pain, and no matter how many hardships we go through, we can accept it calmly and go along with it because that is our destiny.

While we go along with destiny, we also continue to learn and strive to make ourselves better. This enables us to withstand any blows that destiny may bring and acquire the ability to enhance our happiness.

I remember basketball star Allen Iverson once said he played every game like it was his last. It’s like we should live the rest of our lives as if it were the last day.

Never lose courage

I’ve always believed that courage is an important quality in people. Courage represents the beginning, courage represents facing challenges, it can be standing up, overcoming obstacles, and it can also help you ride through the storms. Courage is the first step on the Great Wall, courage is the enemy of fear, courage is the motivation to endure even in the face of adversity.

Perhaps it takes ten thousand failures to achieve one success.

As Qi Qi Fu wrote, “True bravery is not about ignorance or fearlessness, but about experiencing failure, knowing the pain and difficulties ahead, yet still moving forward without hesitation.”

After reading this book, I thought of my brother, Big Bear.。?

A person lives up to his name. Big Bear is a Northeastern guy around 1.85 meters tall, but he has a very delicate appearance. With single eyelids and high nose bridge, he is handsome, elegant, charming and quite popular among girls. He usually likes to wear baggy jeans and work pants—due to his well-developed buttocks and thigh muscles, he can’t fit into slim, straight-cut pants.

He’s the kind of person who will actively help others carry things when he sees his friends have something in their hands. Whenever a friend has a conflict with someone else, he will definitely be the first to step up and stand up for his friend. People who are not familiar with him may find him stern and serious, but he always has a smiling face when it comes to friends.

We are basketball buddies who play together year-round. Due to his excellent basketball skills, we form a perfect combination on the court, both inside and outside players. But when we sit down at the dinner table and start drinking and chatting, I don’t know why it always ends up in an intense competition where neither of us wants to back down. His competitive spirit and my refusal to admit defeat can only be resolved with one word: “stubbornness.”

I remember he had a habit of dislocating his shoulder. Often on the basketball court, while playing, he would suddenly grab his shoulder and say to us, “Wait a moment, my shoulder dislocated.” Then, with a blank expression, he would pop his dislocated shoulder back into place and say, “Alright! Let’s continue!”

One time, a few of us buddies went to a seaside cabin for a barbecue. After dinner, we organized a name-tag tearing competition. However, in the middle of the game, this guy broke his pinky finger and said, “I’ll be right back.” An hour later, Big Bear returned with his pinky finger wrapped in a bandage and joined us to continue playing.

Due to work reasons, we couldn’t meet up frequently. During one of our gatherings later on, he told me that he couldn’t drink alcohol anymore because of medication. I thought it was just an excuse and asked how some minor health issue could affect drinking. He said, “Sanjian, I have myasthenia gravis.” Myasthenia gravis, I believe many people don’t understand this condition, is similar to ALS, like what Stephen Hawking had. Moreover, for young people who love sports like him, the chances of getting this disease are extremely slim.

“How did you get such a disease?” He explained that once, he went to Beijing on a business trip to attend a conference. They kept having gatherings, drinking, and performing on stage with friends, and he was always there to boost everyone’s mood, never dampening the spirits, which led to extreme exhaustion. After returning home, he had a persistent low-grade fever, lasting for nearly two months. During that time, he experienced difficulty breathing, blurry vision, and strabismus. It took him half an hour to walk down a few dozen flights of stairs…

Because such cases of this disease were extremely rare, hospitals couldn’t initially identify the cause. As a result, Big Bear visited numerous hospitals in Shenzhen, but they all treated him for a stroke. During his third acupuncture session, his face was full of needles. However, the old Chinese doctor sensed something was wrong and said, “This shouldn’t be a stroke; it might be myasthenia gravis. Go to a major hospital for a comprehensive examination.”

Once he was diagnosed, the hospital recommended immediate admission, but only the intensive care unit had available beds. Big Bear stood at the entrance of the ICU, witnessing the conditions of some critically ill patients. The emotional burden led him to flee because he believed that if he were admitted to the ICU, he wouldn’t have much time left. (This is not meant to demean ICU patients in any way.)

The treatment options for myasthenia gravis are as follows. The first option involves high-dose steroid therapy, but it can have side effects such as short-term weight gain, hair loss, and bone density reduction. Since being ill had already taken a toll on his mental well-being, he didn’t want to look like a patient. Maintaining a healthy appearance was a source of psychological encouragement for him.

The second option is plasmapheresis, but its effects only last for about a month.

Finally, Big Bear chose the most conservative approach, which involved traditional Chinese medicine combined with treatment. Taking medication became a part of his daily life, and he would even take the medicine without eating if necessary.

In addition to his treatment, he also maintained his exercise routine. He would run every day in a park near his home. His goal was the lamp post every ten meters, starting from just a few meters and gradually increasing to hundreds of meters, and eventually reaching three kilometers. He knew he couldn’t run very far, but each time he passed a lamp post, he felt like he had achieved a small victory. His persistent efforts convinced him that as long as he was alive, things could always get better.

When he reached three kilometers, he felt that his condition was improving, and he regained strength in his speech.

After going through this major illness, his personality gradually became more serene. He became more accepting and reflective. In the deep nights plagued by the illness, he would lie there and think about the first half of his life — not taking care of his body, indulging excessively, and wasting a lot of time. I vividly remember one statement he made, “Living a life of depth is more meaningful than the length of one’s life. Contributing to society, living a valuable life, even if one suddenly departs one day, there will be no regrets.” Later, he entered the field of education, and witnessing the progress and success of every child brought him great satisfaction.

During his illness, his girlfriend broke up with him. At that time, he became very self-conscious, avoiding contact with girls and refraining from confessing his feelings to them. He felt that he couldn’t provide a future for a girl and couldn’t be responsible for her. It was during this time that he met an angel.

Through a chance interaction on social media, he reconnected with his first love. After a long online exchange, when they met in person, he realized that despite over a decade passing, neither of them had changed.

One day, the girl gave him a gift, which was an email account, but she didn’t provide the password. She asked him to guess it. On his first attempt, he got it right — “the first day they were together.” Although more than ten years had passed, the girl had been writing a few letters every year on this email account, sharing the daily happenings in her life and her longing for him. After reading the letters, he cried, realizing that someone in the world had been thinking about him and holding him in her heart for a decade.

He confessed his condition to the girl, saying that his breathing could stop at any moment, and today might be his last day. He was afraid of her leaving him. He didn’t want to face that day, and he didn’t want to face her under these circumstances.

However, she replied that even if it wasn’t him, even if she was with someone she didn’t love, if that person encountered such a situation, she wouldn’t leave him, let alone him.

After hearing this story, it’s hard for me to put into words the emotions it evokes. This is what love looks like in my heart: “No matter whether he’s poor or rich, healthy or ill, until death do us part…”

When Big Bear invited me to his wedding, I cleared my schedule to witness their love. Even though I was seated in the farthest corner of the hall, it didn’t matter. I sent them my best wishes.

Since then, we’ve continued to meet up, raising our glasses together. While we hold wine glasses, he holds a water glass. As his brother, we are determined not to let him touch a drop of alcohol again. Even if he wants to drink, we will firmly discourage him. Just a few days ago, he sent me a picture of his newborn daughter. In just a few short years, this guy has become a proud father of both a son and a daughter, which is truly admirable.

We’ve also built more communication between us, encouraging and motivating each other. At any time in the future, if Big Bear needs help, I will always step up. So, at this point, I want to say one thing to him, “Bro, everything will get better!” I also extend my warmest wishes to our resilient and beloved friend, Qiqi Fu, who’s a fan of Zhang Wuji!

I started thinking about what’s most important between good friends. I believe it’s ‘仁义’ (benevolence and righteousness).

Firstly, it’s having a kind heart in dealing with everything. Secondly, whenever you face difficulties, I’ll stand by you; that’s ‘义’ (righteousness)! (Don’t hallucinate, there is no contact whatsoever.)

When we feel that fate is ‘unjust,’ we also grow through this process, seeing many people and things clearly, understanding the difference between sincere friendship and fake sentiments. It’s still the same old saying, let’s stay strong together!

Do you think it’s over now? Lastly, I want to share a word I’ve recently liked a lot, “serendipity”- meeting unexpectedly. Without expectations, there is no disappointment, and what comes without expectations is always a pleasant surprise. Often, in moments when we have no expectations, we encounter things we truly like. This is life’s gentle consolation to you.

Here is my serendipty?