Great Lessons From The Life Story Of Jean Domique Buaby

I think we all don’t know a person named Jean-Dominique Bauby, unless you are a woman and speak French or read a magazine called Elle. He is the editor-in-chief of Elle.

In 1997 he died at the age of 44 after completing his memoirs which he “wrote” very specially, entitled Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Bubble and the Butterfly). In 1995 he suffered a stroke that left his entire body paralyzed.

He experienced what he called “locked-in syndrome”, a total paralysis which he called “like a thought in a bottle”. Indeed, he could still think clearly but could not speak or move at all. The only muscle he could control was his left eyelid. So that’s his way of communicating with his nurses, hospital doctors, family and friends. They show letter by letter and Jean will blink when the letter shown is the one he chose.

For us, writing activities may be trivial and become commonplace. However, if we were asked to “write” in Jean’s way, maybe we would have to cry for days first. How amazing is her determination and passion for life as well as her willingness to keep writing and sharing her extraordinary life story. He died 3 days after his book was published. So, whatever the problems and burdens of our lives, they are almost nothing compared to Jean.

What he wrote in his memoirs was “I would be the happiest man in the world if I could just properly swallow the saliva that permanently invaded my mouth.” Imagine, even swallowing saliva he could not. So, those of us who can still eat should be 100 times happier than Jean. We even complain all the time, every day, all year round.

What else did Jean do in her complete paralysis besides writing a book? He founded an association of people with “locked-in syndrome” to help families of sufferers. He also became a “movie star” aka held a role in a film made by French TV that told his story. He planned another book after he finished writing the first one.

So, no matter how turbulent our current situation and life are, those who are under severe stress, those who are unhappy because their necessities are not met, those whose paths are still limping because they have just been stepped on nails, those who are being laid off, at least we can still swallow hard; things Jean couldn’t do, but he didn’t give up in his life.

May we all don’t continue to be complainers and become human beings who are difficult to be satisfied.

Be thankful in all circumstances…


2 thoughts on “Great Lessons From The Life Story Of Jean Domique Buaby

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s