Bethany Hamilton is a female surfer who won first place at a NSSA Nationals Surfing Championship despite having her left arm bitten off by a shark several years ago.

What is that Bethany impressed me with? I was fascinated how Bethany continued not only to surf, but also to live like a normal person who could still be happy though missing an arm. Bethany admitted what happened to her, adapted to her new life and kept striving to get the most of it.

In addition, Bethany’s experience got me thinking about some aspects of the human psyche – why do we take some things for granted, like food and water available to us every day, and why can’t we realize how valuable some things actually are only when they’re taken away from us. Imagine you are an invalid who restores his ability to walk – I bet you will be the happiest person in the world. I wonder why I cannot be happy because I have four limbs, why I cannot feel the same as an invalid who restores his ability to walk; it seems I have to experience a recovery from a spinal cord injury in order to get the intense feelings I expect.

Betty’s experience also made think that the most reasonable actions to take when having the misfortune to become disabled in some way is to admit your condition, give in to your depression for no more than a week and then gather all your physical and mental strength to adapt to your new life and move on with your search for happiness. Just like Betty.

Soul Surfer is the movie dedicated to Bethany Hamilton's life-changing experience
Soul Surfer is the movie dedicated to Bethany Hamilton’s life-changing experience



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