Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More




Mr Majestig

Citrus Heights, California, USA

August 13, 2018



"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." ... Alice Walker

This essay, Mr Majestig, is the companion piece to Complaint And The Blind Men.

It is also the nineteenth in a group of twenty one on People: It was written at the same time as


Invacare Tracer SX5 wheelchair by Spinlife
Long story short. He went to the hospital, a strapping, healthy young man, supposedly for a quick check of something very minor. When he came out, most of his left leg was gone, amputated after a horrible sequence of errors, halfway up his thigh above the knee, ensuring he'll live most of the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Obviously lawyers got involved. There were arbitration hearings, and ultimately a substantial liability payout. Most unusual in cases like his, there was also a written apology, and an admission of guilt and negligence by the institution involved. All of the above is to be expected (OK maybe the lawyers and the payout are, but the apology and admission of guilt and negligence? Maybe not so much). But wait: that's not what this is about.

Going over it all, the details, the hows, the whys, and the wherefores, don't serve his purpose. What's knock me on my ass  inspiring about him, is how he lives his life these days - not in spite of what happened, but regardless of it. And yes there is a critical difference. It's a subtle distinction. It's all in where he comes from.

My term of endearment for him is "Mr Majestig". It's not a typo. It's from "Majestic", but it's "Majestig" with a "g" not a "c". He's of Italian heritage. His surname ends in "ig". So it's "Mr Majestig". He calls me to drive him on errands: to the store, to the post office, wherever he needs to go. I love driving him. When I do, he plays CDs of what I describe as light Italian operetta arias. Although I speak not one word of Italian, I sing along with him, loudly, the two of us tenors in unison as I drive, startling anyone parked next to us at traffic lights if their window is open. "WAKE the DEAD!"  he yells, enjoying their surprise, turning to me, laughing merrily.

The most telling insight I could share, into who he be's  (that's what this is all about, really), is in what I find when I look for him in stores when we go shopping - at Trader Joe's, for example. I assist him getting out of the car and onto his wheelchair, after which I go my way to do my shopping, and he goes his way (he can move himself around) to do his. When it's time to meet up again, I walk perpendicularly to the aisles at one end, looking down each one ... and there's  Mr Majestig: always surrounded by people. The man is a people magnet! However it is he be's, attracts people - a lot  of them. Was he this way before the amputation? I haven't had that conversation with him. But I'll bet good money that in all likelihood, how he's chosen to deal with his situation, and his resulting way of being, has a lot to do with it.

There is one conversation I have had with him, mind you. It's the one in which he tells me I'm very (quote unquote) "kind and generous"  and he's lucky to have me - to which I counter that luck's got nothing to do with it: it's the space he creates for people, in which I can show up; it's the space he creates for people that allows for (what occurs for him as) kindness and generosity showing up around him. But he's a devout Catholic. And he attributes all that to the Lord. He may not be 1,000% ready to take responsibility for it, or for starting a conversation for transformation. But Mr Majestig's in a great, good place to begin both, so he may - any time soon.



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