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This story is another reminder of why those of us with an ordinary life should never forget to be grateful

By Nina Steele 

Gratitude Is The Sign Of Noble SoulsTiffany Wedekind is 41. She suffers from a rare genetic disease that has already claimed the life of her brother. People with Progeria, which is what her condition is called, don’t often live beyond the age of 14. The condition causes premature ageing and affects 1 in 4 million children. That Tiffany has lived this long is a miracle in itself. Watching her tell her story, her positive attitude, and acceptance of her condition, may have something to do with it.

Of what it means to live life with an illness that has no cure, Tiffany said: “I have my moments of sadness, but I bounce back from that. Resilience is definitely a strength of mine”. Well, she really means what she says, because, instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for herself, in addition to having an active social life, she is also the proud owner of two businesses.

Talking about Tiffany’s positive outlook on life, one of her friends said: “I admire her ability to get back up again. She’s had some adversities in her life, but she’s never let any of that get her down. She almost sees all that adversity in her life as an incentive to just go out and do better, and be better”. Tiffany herself had this to say about her sunny disposition: “I have been positive pretty much all my life, and I don’t know where I get it from. I was born this way”. She goes on to say that she learnt to be comfortable with who she is, adding “that helps me cope with being different”. Wow!

Gratitude is an integral part of my daily life, which is why her story caught my attention. There is so much material wealth around these days, yet so much unhappiness too. It seems that the richer we have got as a people, the greater the level of unhappiness has become. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but one thing I know for sure, is that, one of the reasons why so many people are unhappy today, is because they don’t practice gratitude. If you are constantly on the lookout for something more, as opposed to appreciating what you already have, then unhappiness is what you will attract.

When you practice gratitude, your outlook on life changes. You stop comparing your life with that of others, because you accept that we are all on a different path, and therefore, no life is ever the same. Tiffany Wedekind’s story is a reminder of why acceptance and gratitude are essential for a happy life.

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