They were climbing Everest when both went blind as a result of the altitude causing pressure on the eyes.
It was nearly dark.
They started descending, slowly and carefully, but one slid into a crevasse. He fell onto a shelf, managed to dig in with his ice pick to stop himself sliding off it, then slowly climbed his way out to where his climbing mate was waiting.
They continued down until they decided it would be safer to stop and wait until morning.
It was a long cold, night. At one stage one of the climbers realised he hadn’t heard a sound from the other and feared he’d given way to hypothermia.
”You okay?” he asked.
There was a pause before his mate answered.
”Yeah, I was just thinking, it could be worse, we could be working in an office.”
I was reminded of this story, which is true, when I read about a report which says there’s a divide in wellbeing between urban and rural New Zealand.
. . .On Tuesday, Infometrics released their report titled Regional Wellbeing, which looked at outcomes for Kiwis living in provincial areas compared to those in the cities.
It found wellbeing in metropolitan centres far exceeded that in the regions for seven of nine considered areas – environment, health, jobs, knowledge and skills, income, safety, and social connection.
In urban parts of the country, the report stated there was a greater mix of skilled employment opportunities, office-based work, and higher pay. . .
Office-based work is a measure of wellbeing?
That reminds me of the quote from Vincent McNabb:
There are those who wrest a living from the land and that’s work; there are those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from the land and that’s trade; and there are those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from the land and that’s finance.
Farmers these days understand the need for book work, they respect the work at least some other people do in offices, but all those I know are least happy when they’re in offices and most happy when they’re outside.
Where you work in itself isn’t a measure of wellbeing. That you can work in a job you enjoy and that pays you well is a far better measure.
There are plenty of people who would be happier anywhere but an office, including, hard as it might be to believe, those two climbers who recovered their sight but lost some fingers and toes after their night out on the slopes of Everest.