We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
Max de Pree
The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.
Frank Lloyd Wright
The purpose of life is to believe, to hope and to strive.
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
FOUR YEARS AGO, adventurer Mark Pollock, who was the first blind man to reach the South Pole, became paralysed from the waist down in a fall from a window.
The fall happened just three weeks before he was due to be married and he was in hospital for over a year. Since then, he has been through intensive rehabilitation at the Project Walk in San Diego and became the first person in the world to own a personal set of robotic legs made by Ekso Bionics.
This week, Pollock will tell his incredible story at the TEDx Hollywood event, hoping to raise awareness of needs to be done to help people in wheelchairs.
“Doing a TED Talk has been something I wanted to do for quite a while as it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of spinal injury with influential people around the world,” Pollock said today. “There’s no money in it but that’s not the motivation – it’s to spread the word to the world that spinal injury needs attention.”
One of the main things I’m going to talk about is the dichotomy of acceptance and hope. When I broke my back, I was advised to accept my situation and move on but unless we have hope, how can we ever change things. Without acceptance there is no start line but without hope there is no finish line. Somewhere in the middle is making important progress.
The talk will be available to view online in July and will form part of the closing sequence of a feature documentary called ‘Unbreakable’ about Pollock’s journey, due to be released in October.