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Life is random and things don’t happen for a reason

On luck, magic, miracles and God (Part 3 of 5).

Cam had a favourite story he liked to share about the Tao Farmer. There are many variations, but this is the version he told:

There was an old farmer whose only horse, that he depended on for his work and livelihood, ran away. That evening the neighbours gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He replied simply, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbours came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said again, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” And then, the following day, as his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, he was thrown, and broke his leg. As he relied on his son to help him so much on the farm, the neighbours came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected. When the neighbours came in to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said again, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”

When Cameron came out of his first surgery in December 2011, this was the story he told his teaching team on his first day back at Paragon. His lesson: it is a waste of energy to judge things as good or bad. Time is better spent looking in challenges for opportunities and other perspectives.

Cam saw his diagnosis and poor prognosis with this approach:

Maybe he was unlucky to get such a rare and aggressive tumour. But lucky he was so fit and healthy his body could withstand the rigours of his treatments and he was able to get back to what he loved within weeks of his first brain surgery.

Maybe it was bad luck that the tumour spread to an inaccessible part of his brain. But luckily, he’d been working on neuroplasticity and was able to train new pathways to maintain his function for longer.

Unluckily, he ultimately couldn’t stop the functional deterioration. But luckily, as a physio, he was able to give himself the best possible rehab program. And lucky that his background in disability meant he could navigate the system to maximise his independence til the end.

Timmy forced Cam to pull himself up and focus on his life’s purpose. And maybe it was good luck that he could teach that lesson to us.

And how lucky were we that we had the time to strengthen our relationships with him? How lucky were we to have so much more time? How lucky we were to have Cam at all?

7.6 billion people on this planet, and we all got to know Cam.

“Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

Cameron did not believe in luck or in magic. He did not believe in fate or destiny. He definitely did not believe that things happen for a reason. He strongly believed that things just happen, randomly, and that we as humans, create the reason that makes meaning for us. He believed this was our purpose, to make things meaningful, to make things matter, and to make an impact.

Cam believed in right now. He believed in having one shot to live our very best life and to be our very best self. He did not believe in being born again or getting another opportunity to live. This was partly what drove his passion for life. Not because he believed that being super would get him a place in heaven. Not even just in case. But because if you only get one shot at being human, why wouldn’t you do it well? 

This is Part 3 of 5 of Teresa’s eulogy for Cam. Thank you for reading. Click here to return to the introduction (Unfinished Symphonies). 

Want to learn more about Cameron Gill’s journey, his legacy, and his legacy projects? CLICK HERE for Cam’s official Facebook legacy page. We have heaps more of his story to share, so like and follow to stay updated.

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