When Light Taketh, Not Giveth, Life

“Only now I had a sense of grace, which means just seeing, accepting, knowing, holding everyone as they are. Just as they are. Then you become the sky that holds every storm, and transforms it into the rain that waters the soil of the garden.”

In a piece titled “Touching Grace: A Little Closer to the Point of It All,” Umair Haque (@umairh) shares some very revelatory and humbling thoughts. If you can look past the typos and grammatical mistakes (sorry, but as the self-proclaimed “most popular writer at Harvard Business Review,” I would hope he proofreads his material before hitting PUBLISH online), you’ll get a lot out of his post and his backstory.

Some years ago, Mr. Haque was told he was going to die of an apparently invisible, nameless disease. As one might expect, he went through a wide range of emotions, from fear and shock to acceptance and, finally, live-in-the-moment bliss. It was only when he came to this last state of mind that he found love (or as he put it, “When we’re happy, we’re open. I was open, humble, grateful, and so love found me.”) and he discovered that it was the source of all life on Earth that he was dying; the sun was literally killing him. A very rare genetic disorder caused by the sun’s rays had led to organ failure, among other maladies, throughout his body.

Yet Mr. Haque was clearly a fighter and so used this momentary  hiccup on the highway of life to reconnoiter his personal mission, his hopes and desires, and how he would move on knowing that he was, in a sense, a kind of vampire. Although Mr. Haque sums up the world today with the word “hostility,” it seems he can sum up his own life in one word as well – “survivor” – and his story is nothing short of compelling.

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