Welcome back. I am happy you decided to stop by and visit. I have been thinking about a song that we have heard sung around Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. When I was young I thought this was a happy song. To sum up the message from this song, Rudolph had what some would have considered a disability. As a result, all the other reindeer used to call him names. No one would let him play in the reindeer games. This cruelty continued until Santa Claus recognized Rudolph for his special abilities.
People can be like reindeer, and flock like sheep. Ignorance, prejudice, arrogance and contempt often drive these individuals to unknowingly make bad choices. To them, the approval of others becomes the aphrodisiac that stupefies and cauterizes their very existence. These individuals seem unable to stand up for what it right.
Albert Einstein summed up this category of people in his quote; “He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” I do not want to be like one of those sheep that mindlessly follows after ignorance. Nor do I want to adopt the heard mentality so that I can fit in with the flock.
Creative excellence encourages me to be attentive, so that I do not find myself lulled into becoming one of those sheep.
I am walking on the path called life. At times, I have found myself sitting on a rock near the path. Occasionally, I take time to notice streams that are flowing in the distance. Their beauty seems to come closer to me at certain points along the path. As I hear the trickling water pass under my feet, my thoughts drift and I begin to reflect. As I ponder its flow, I wonder how many stones, rocks, leaves and logs its presence has touched. The water’s course seems to be lost in time. I decide to continue on the path. I focus on my steps. As I walk, a voice calls to me. Although I initially dismiss its sound, the pitch gets louder and louder. As I pay attention to the voice, I am encouraged by what is being said.
You are different, but very special. You are like the water that has ebbed and flowed along the banks of life. The stones, rocks, leaves and logs are those who have been in your life. They may not have understood or cared that you touched their lives, but your beauty and splendor continued to shine. Time has always been on your side. You have come to understand that those who scoffed at your beauty were blind. Their web of conceit no longer has the ability to constrain you. Instead, you mount up with the wings of an eagle to fly far above their jaded perceptions. You plainly see that they were afraid all along. They choose to remain in that ignorance. You now understand that their opinion of you does not matter. Instead, you have come to believe what matters most is being your own best friend.
You now look at each new day as an opportunity, rather than a threat. You find yourself being empowered in every area of your life. This message gives you strong encouragement. You are motivated to face life head on. Life now provides an endless array of possibilities. More than that, you have expectant courage to live life, one day at a time.
Having a disability is not a sentence to imprison our lives. Rather it is as a switch on a railroad that redirects our lives. I may not know the specific direction the stream of my life is moving, but I will stay encouraged. Being a traumatic brain injury survivor has given me challenges and I am grateful for those opportunities to learn and grow. I am being empowered every day.
As people with disabilities, we are very fortunate. Life is teaching us things that people without disabilities will never be able to experience. Having a disability really is a prized possession. Perspective can open the door to endless possibilities. Dare to dream!
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