I came across this story as I've been reading a leadership book by John C. Maxwell and just had to share it with you.
G.W. Target, in his essay "The Window", tells the story of two men confined to hospital beds in the same room. Both men were seriously ill and though they were not allowed much diversion - no television, radio, or books - their friendship developed over months of conversation. They discussed every possible subject in which they both had interest or experience, from family to jobs to vacations, as well as much of their own personal histories.
Neither man left his bed, but one was fortunate enough to be next to the window. As part of his treatment he could sit up in bed for just an hour a day. At this time he would describe the world outside to his roommate. In very descriptive terms he would bring the outside world inside to this friend, describing to him the beautiful park he could see, with its lake, and the many interesting people he saw spending their time there. His friend began to live for those descriptions.
After a particularly fascinating report, the one man began to think it was not fair that his friend got to see everything while he could see nothing. He was ashamed of his thoughts, but he had quite a bit of time to think and he couldn't get this out of his mind. Eventually his thoughts began to take their effect on his health, and he became even more ill, with a disposition to match.
One evening his friend, who sometimes had difficulty with congestion and breathing, awoke with a fit of coughing and choking and was unable to push the button for the nurse to come to his aid. The frustrated, sour man lay there looking at the ceiling, listening to this struggle for life next to him, and doing nothing.
The next morning the day nurse came in to find the man by the window dead.
After a proper interval, the man who was so eager to see out that window asked if he could be moved, and it was quickly done. As soon as the room was empty, the man struggled up on his elbow to look out the window and fill his spirit with the sights of the outside world.
It was then he discovered the window faced a blank wall.
Are you ever so envious of others that you miss the opportunity to share in their glory?