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About Everything Wiki » Inspiration » No excuses: "Before" and "After" – Joshua Prager's confession

No excuses: "Before" and "After" – Joshua Prager's confession

03 May 2023, 16:34, parser
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This article of the special project "No Excuses" is dedicated to the American journalist and writer Joshua Prager. He is 42 years old. Prager has been living with a disability for most of his life, which he acquired as a result of a terrible car accident. A car accident divided his life into "Before" and "After".

The article touches on difficult topics for discussion and asks unpleasant questions. So please, if you are not ready for this, do not open it, read something else. Thanks.

Joshua Prager
Joshua Prager

Joshua Prager was born in the year when astronauts walked on the moon, and ordinary Americans demonstrated against the Vietnam War.

Although his hometown – Eagle Butte (South Dakota, USA) – was far from the capital's worries. The boy grew up in a calm, friendly atmosphere.

He loved books. It was immediately clear that the humanities were growing. Any school writing assignments were surprisingly easy for Joshua. Perhaps his father, the famous American physicist Kenneth Prager, was upset that his son had no technical inclinations, but he supported any of his initiatives.

Kenneth didn't mind when Joshua went to New York to study at Ramaz High School after school. He also didn't mind when his son decided to go to Israel after graduating from Columbia College.

Joshua started writing before he left, and after returning to the United States, he took up journalism professionally. And immediately success. Vanity Fair, New York Times and Wall Street Journal – which of the young authors can boast that his name is under the articles of such reputable publications?

Prager worked at the Wall Street Journal for 8 years. But, like many talented authors, he became cramped within the newspaper layout – he began to write books.

His first work was called "Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World». This is the story of the "hit that the whole world heard", Bobby Thompson's home run and the iconic 1951 baseball game.

Prager was able to tell it in such a way that critics and readers understood that there was one more narrator in the world. And excellent. Who is who, and Prager knows how to draw the reader into the story ...

Today Joshua Prager will share with you the story in which he was "dragged" by a truck driver named Abed.

Regular readers of the "No excuses" column know that I usually talk about what made a person a hero of our special project and a hero in life, at the very beginning of the article. This time I started with achievements. There are two reasons for this.

First of all, Joshua Prager is a really great storyteller. No one can describe better his story about how he spent 20 years looking for a meeting with a man who broke his neck. Secondly, I would like to invite you to a dialogue, to discuss the problems that Prager touches on, and for this you must first watch one of his lectures.

"Before" and "After"

Joshua Prager is a real hero, not looking for "No excuses." A fracture of the cervical vertebrae is one of the most severe spinal injuries. The body does not obey and does not feel anything. Just imagine what a journey Joshua Prager made to get on stage with his feet and talk with a smile about the events of 20 years ago.

It doesn't matter if it's an accident or inheritance, a baseball bat hit, a fuse flick or an arrest. Every person has such a "before" and "after".

Prager is damn right about that. It is not necessary to become disabled in order to understand that life is not changed by events, but by our attitude towards them. Someone, like Joshua, does not look for any excuses, and someone, after a banal dismissal, begins to feel sorry for himself and derails his life.

And here the question arises: how to help those whose "after" clearly loses to "before"? And should it be done?

In addition, Prager touched upon the topic of acceptance of people with disabilities in society. He did it very subtly, without making long speeches about how everyone is equal and a person with a disability should be perceived in the same way as a healthy one.

I was myself, despite the limp, and the limp was what made me myself.

A disease or injury does not change the core of a person that is genetically embedded in him, but they become part of him.

What do you think, is it necessary to try to perceive a disabled person as healthy, or is it necessary to accept him as he is?

Another very important point that Joshua touched upon in his speech is forgiveness. It seemed to me that he had not forgiven Abed. Despite the fact that his life after the accident can be called successful (perhaps even more successful than Abed's), Joshua did not forget about it as he was going to.

I was hoping for something more simple: to exchange Turkish delight for just two words and leave.

Why is it so important for people to repent of each other? Is it possible to forgive a man who broke your neck? Is it true that, without forgiving the offender, it is impossible to move on? What to do if you see that the culprit does not even understand his guilt, let alone say "I'm sorry"?

And the last thing I would like to draw your attention to is responsibility.

In 25 years – 27 violations.

Penalties for non-compliance with traffic rules are getting tougher, but accidents leading to monstrous consequences are not getting any less.

Why do drivers, when they get behind the wheel, not realize that, thereby, they take responsibility for someone's life? And why do many consciously neglect this responsibility?


The video also touches on other, more philosophical issues (for example, religious ones). But please remember the name and purpose of our project. Write comments related to the issues under discussion and respect each other's opinions. Thanks.

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03 May 2023, 17:05    0    0
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