A man was strolling along the beach one day when he spotted a bottle washed up on the shore. He went over and picked it up, and noticed a message in the bottle. He popped the cork out and inside was a weathered treasure map indicating that there was buried treasure to be found in the shallow waters below. But the man thought it was a hoax, so he slipped the map back in and threw the bottle back into the ocean…
A little later, another man was walking along the beach and the bottle had washed upon the shore. He too picked up the bottle, popped out the cork, and found the treasure map.
This man, however, was curious enough to wade into the water and hoped it was buried shallow enough to find. But once the cold ocean waters reached up to his thighs, he decided to quit. “This is not worth it!” he thought to himself. So he scrambled back to shore and chucked the bottle back into the ocean….
A third man was walking by the beach and noticed the bottle washed upon the shore. He went over, opened the bottle and found the map. The map looked authentic enough, and promised great treasure… So he got himself a small raft and set out into the ocean to claim the treasure..he rowed out far enough into the ocean where the “X” on the map was and to his surprise, he saw the glint of something shining in the waters below..he dove into the ocean and swam towards the shining object below.. He could see that there was something that looked like a treasure chest, but he couldn’t quite reach it and the deeper he went, the greater the cold and pressure on his body and his mind..,” I am about to lose my breath, and the longer I take, my raft might be swept away!”, he thought. So the man decided to give up the hunt so he would ensure his own life and safety..when he reached the shore once more, he took the bottle from the raft and tossed it back into the ocean…
Finally, one more man was walking along the beach. He noticed the bottle, went over, popped it open, and was excited to find a map promising great treasure. He noticed someone had left a raft by the water’s edge, so he took it and paddled out. He too, got far enough to where the “X” marks the spot, and squinted into the waters and saw the shadow and glint of the treasure below.
He took a deep breath and plunged into the waters. Like the man before him, the cold, darkness and pressure upon his senses increased as he got closer. He also realized that if he kept swimming, that he might lose his breath, the raft, and even his own life! But this treasure could be worth all the risk and he persisted. Just as he was about to give up, he grabbed the long chain that was binding the chest and pulled it up along with himself back to the surface. He broke the surface of the water gasping and exhausted but with the treasure chest safely in his grasp. He paddled back to the shore, opened up the treasure chest and found what the map had promised–gold, and precious diamonds and jewels that would make him secure for the rest of his life.
Moral: Every body sees the opportunity but it will reward only those who are ready to risk for it.
“I’ve so much work to do — to study, do my assignments and read… Life is too hectic for me to sit down and think about what I don’t have. Just no time to regret, man,” says Radebe Samkelo.
The positive attitude of this 20-year-old South African high jumper and law student is heart-warming given that he lost both hands when he was 9.
Samkelo, here for the world paralympics meet at the Kanteerava Stadium, recalls that terrible day in a Johannesburg colony. “My friends and I were playing near my home when an electric wire fell on me. I was knocked out and opened my eyes couple of days later in the ICU. I couldn’t move an inch. I couldn’t see or feel a thing.”
He goes on: “The doctors said both hands had to be amputated, else I wouldn’t live as the disease would travel all over my body. It was my hands or my life — I chose life.”
Samkelo came to terms with it quickly: “It affected my parents more than me. I told myself that I’d saved my life by giving up my hands. It was this realization and acceptance that helped me.”
He stayed home for almost nine months, with hospital visits every now and then.
Later, he went back to school again and took up athletics, with high jump a favourite event.
“My friends looked after me well in school and gave me the strength to explore options. I told myself I wouldn’t feel ashamed and do what I liked — study and athletics.”
Samkelo is currently a second-year law student at the University of Johannesburg and also earned the right to represent South Africa at these games.
So, what his daily routine? “I go to the gym in the morning, then to class and for the running sessions. Weekends, I study and do my assignments. I did things by trial and error, learnt all things by myself. I cook, I clean and I drive. I even have a licence.” He drives a manual-geared car, his dad’s Toyota Corolla, and an Opel Astra.
Samkelo listens to House music, Kwaito – township music, gospel, R & B, hip hop and of course Akon. He loves horror movies, comedies and soccer. “Live life to the fullest — it’s not about what you have or don’t have in life, but what you do.”
He goes on: “I’ve never been depressed or disappointed. I rather appreciate life better now and make the best of it. I make sure I’m happy at the end of the day, every day. ‘Just do it’ is my way of looking at things.”