We like to think that we’re all good people, right? Until we are faced with those who are different. How do we react? Do we think they can’t do stuff at all? Do we discriminate?…We do this because we like to think we are better. Not so good of us, is it?
We often call them disabled. The right, more politically correct term nowadays would be DIFFERENTLY ABLED. Or the more accepted term Persons with Disability (PWDs). I personally don’t think the word “disabled” is derogatory or discriminatory, but because a lot of people have made it seem so, I believe that “Differently Abled” and “PWD” are, really, more correct.
They only have abilities different from ours, the supposedly “abled” people, but it doesn’t mean they cannot do anything. In fact, there are lots of them who proved themselves to be quite able in things that we aren’t or can’t do ourselves physically or mentally.
Like Australian Christian Evangelist Nick Vujicic who was born without all the four limbs we all too often take for granted (he is the founder of the non-profit organization Life without Limbs, by the way). You don’t need to be a Christian to be able to understand him, even relate to him one way or another. He is a motivational speaker and when he speaks, you can’t help but think, oh yeah, he’s so right-on. He’s very funny and entertaining, too. And he can swim.
Now here I am. I am not sure if I have ever positively motivated anyone, I have stage fright that I can’t even be funny onstage, and I can’t swim to save my life! It’s not to downplay my own abilities. I’m just saying he’s just differently abled from myself. Given my own lack of talent in certain things, I guess I — all of us — can be considered differently abled as well, depending on what aspects.
It just makes me think that if we were all able to do the same things, life would either be too boring or we’d all be chaotically (is there such a word?) scrambling to try to be the best when no one can really be the best. And it makes me think that if Nick was born quite normal by our standards, I wonder how many people he could’ve inspired. Chances are, not as many as he has actually inspired today, with no limbs and all. He’s got many vids in the YouTube-sphere, so if you want to understand what I mean and see him in action, try to check them out.
We can really cite various other inspirational people who have proved that disability is not a factor in failure or success. One just has to find the right thing for himself/herself.
In fact here’s another wonderfully different person whose TEDx talk inspired me recently and who actually inspired this topic. She is Maysoon Zayid, an Arab-American born with cerebral palsy and, thankfully, a very good sense of humor. I just found out about her and reading about her credentials, especially her advocacy work, I am already impressed. I like her already!
To Nick, Maysoon and those others fighting the good fight, I salute you! Long live!
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This post is for today’s…
You’ve positively motivated someone. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thanks for that confirmation! 😀
I recently trained for and did a pretty long run, and felt great about it. But, for a few days afterward, I was so sore it was really hard to do so many everyday things. Getting onto the bus, walking across the street, going up and down stairs– so many little things met so much protest from my legs and back. But the whole time I just kept thinking: “Wow, I have it so easy. I know this is going away soon (it did, about 3-4 days later) and I really have nothing to complain about here. What does it say about my character if I can’t even manage 4 days of toughing it out a little?” And it made me really have even more admiration for people who on the outside have it tougher, and show great character and their lives become inspirational. Thanks for these examples in your post 🙂
So true! Sometimes when I begin to complain even privately, my conscience reminds me that other people have it worse so I should stop being a cry baby.
I’m glad you liked the post 🙂