I have got to say… Watching this presentation by Stella Young completely revolutionized the way I view disabled people. In a humourous way, Ms. Young presents a non-humourous subject matter – the way non-disabled people view disabled people. My spew will follow underneath the embedded TED Talk below:
This speech really challenged me and my position and relationship with God, in fact. I was indeed one of those people who, whether consciously or unconsciously, expected the disabled person to inspire me – the non-disabled person – to reach new heights. After hearing such speeches and seeing such limitations smitten before my eyes, I was left to feel sorry about my current effort in life and, albeit for the blink of an eye, felt like I could move mountains.
But that was all wrong and warped and I bet if you surveyed most people in those audiences that very few went on to excellence as a result of being there. Why? Because the people watching were suffering from the same condition that the speaker was: the human condition.
The human condition is one of full weakness, not strength.
Unlike many folks who like to scream out such positive words like ‘I can do all things if I think positively!” and “I’m my own man!” and “I’m creating my future!” and “The future is in my hands!”, the truth is, you are the clay and God is your Potter. You didn’t make yourself, you didn’t put yourself in your birth family, life, and city, nor do you have the first clue about what tomorrow will bring.
Why does this matter? Because you are suffering from this weakness. We *all* share this position of weakness.
We *all* share this position of weakness.
This world is in a fallen condition. Our bodies are frail, our health is constantly challenged, we have sin grinding against our conscience (wanting to do good but never doing it and vice versa) and one day, like every other human who went before us, will die and these bodies will become the dust of the earth.
We are *all* weak. None of us are strong.
And so after watching Ms. Young speak, I looked down at my right index finger and saw the tip which was cut off in a lawn mower and the other side of the same finger that was cut off in my motorcycle chain. I, too, have a disability. It messed up my classical guitar recital and subsequent career as a classical guitar rock star, but guess what? I’m doing just fine and I can still rock out on Bach any time I have time. I feel totally human and I don’t wake up in the morning thinking too much about that finger tip.
Ms. Young and a few other folks just have some disabilities that are a bigger pain in the hindquarters than index finger.
It also highlights to me how badly we need each other. I am done with solo projects. If I can’t work with people and teams, forget it. Life is too short to hide in my office and put off meeting other people till later. I want my day job to involve people all the time. Other people are awesome. They challenge me and they make life interesting.
I hope this post and Stella Young’s presentation helped you get over yourself and your selfish need to feel better about yourself by watching other people’s weaknesses. Focus on your own pile of weaknesses (and you have a lot of them, by the way, most of which are not physical) and cry out to God to help you overcome them and be a blessing to others.