On Monday, Aug. 1, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D – Arizona) voted in favor to raise the U.S. borrowing limit (debt ceiling) and cut government spending by as much as $2.4 trillion over the next decade. Albeit the measure passed 269-161, the significant occurrence is that Giffords was literally present in the House for the voting.
Before January of this year, her presence would be expected at the House of Representatives, with her strong convictions to the people as she is a ‘people-orientated’ person, but on Jan. 8, her life and others’ expectations of her changed.
Giffords was shot in the head by a deranged gunman outside a grocery store in Arizona during her first 2011 Congress on your Corner event. Nineteen people were injured by gunfire, of which six people died. Her condition was grave and stunned the nation.
It was erroneously reported via major news organizations that Giffords was fatally injured. Numerous individuals publicly expressed their sorrow and anger for this misfortune as many did not believe she would survive her injuries.
Giffords married Mark Kelly, an American astronaut, U.S. Navy Captain and a naval aviator on November 10, 2007. Kelly stated the initial recovery period of Giffords’ recuperation was the ‘hardest time in his life’ as he held vigil at her bedside during her struggle to survive. The spousal support he expressed was commendable as his job duties were demanding at the time.
Giffords returns to House for debt vote – CNN (video)
It is remarkable Giffords attended the voting due to her serious injuries. It was not expected but as her actions noted, ‘if there is a will, there is a way.’ The shocking attendance was not solely about the action of voting, it was about her determination to be heard.
How individuals cope with traumatizing events in life vary as some ‘bounce back’ easier than others, depending on their intrapersonal resiliency and determination.
When individuals are confronted with struggles, whether it is personal, physical, emotional or societal, they have a choice to either succumb to the expectations of others or choose not to let barriers dictate their inner voice and sense of self.
Giffords chose to let her inner voice be heard.
Gabrielle Giffords – Wikipedia
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