In Your Language

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Not sure how to take it...



Photo Credit: http://www.tnooz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/inspiration-sign.jpg

     Thankfully, to hear about someone like Rob J. Quinn living with Cerebral Palsy isn't so foreign to a person like me. I haven't lived under a rock my previous 33 years of life, though I will be honest to say that most of my exposure to the variety of people co-existing in the world was when I left the coop and went to Cornell. People had different fashion styles, different languages, different accents, some people knew more than two languages (mostly student visa holders). And then as each door of my life closed and new ones opened, I was exposed to different walks of life with or without "disabilities". I'll be upfront and say that my disabilities are: lack of height, can't draw stick figures, devoid of a sense of humor, reading maps, opening doors that say push/pull, going too many rounds in a verbal disagreement...

     Okay, I get what Rob is trying to say- "Don't make my life a cliche when I'm just trying to do the same thing as you." But let's be real: if we didn't feel inspired that would make us pretty oblivious to the purpose people have in our lives. I don't really believe that he doesn't want to inspire us otherwise he would have kept his "story" private and unpublished. He knows that "inspirational" equals "lucrative." His story sells better than a legacy child. People like Rob ARE meant to inspire. They force us to do a perspective check and help us adjust what we consider to be handicaps in our own bodies and minds. I've never known an inspired person who wanted to commit suicide. Least of all, Rob wanted to "inspire" us to fork over money to buy his book. 

   I'm actually a touch jaded in this area of life... I've read about Joni Eareckson Tada and Nick Vuijicic. I watched the TED Talk of Sam Berns kicking butt while wasting away from progeria, accelerated aging. How about Gianna Jessen who survived an abortion procedure. My stepson is part of the Special Olympics. I worked in the Special Education department of a public school. I've seen people with cancer get black belts. I've seen people with Multiple Sclerosis teach Martial Arts. My former co-worker's twins were both disabled but beat the odds.

     I'd feel like a fool if I weren't touched by a man like Rob, who faces more challenges (socially or otherwise) yet could do X and I haven't even done it yet. If nothing else, I feel convicted of giving my excuses too much power over my life. In a sense, I also have a special story: I stumbled upon a job that connected me with a foundation that sent me to Korea for FREE and was able to reunite with my biological family. Now, going to Korea for free was a huge deal, but still it made no sense that I could beat the 97% odds saying I'd never reunite with my family. THAT HAS TO MEAN.... SOMETHING, right?

     This is a day in age that people are either so absorbed with themselves (loving or loathing) or so sucked into internet role playing/multi-player platform games that there is virtually nothing that can PULL them away from their obsession- EXCEPT FOR people like Rob... and maybe even me. Like I said in a previous post: the magic is witnessed when people go against their appetites (to give up, for the excess, for the easier road). I'd go as far as to say that Rob had a RESPONSIBILITY to share his story- that his PURPOSE is to inspire.

     So- Rob, thanks for the contradicting message of your article. I really hope you start embracing the idea that you were fearfully and wonderful made... to INSPIRE!  I think that is the whole purpose of life is to inspire and to be inspired. The day I stop feeling inspired is when I hope to EX-pire.  But I'm just one girl with a belly button that is off center... not really "disabled" in the inspirational sense.  I hope to be inspired by you one day~ Blessings.

#RobJQuinn #inspired me to write about the #magic of #disabilities.

[EDITED: 4/5/14 ]

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