As humans we like to hang out with people who are “like” us and appear and act similar to us. It makes us feel comfortable and re-affirm who we are. It is easy to feel uncomfortable when we see someone who appears different than us. But fundamentally we are all the same. We all have challenges and weaknesses, but some are more visible than others.
A friend of mine was a star football player until hit by a drunk driver who put him in a power wheelchair. If you only look on the surface you will see a man who uses a power wheelchair to get around. But if you take the time to get to know him you will discover he is a successful professional, an accomplished vocalist, and has a giant size spirituality and strength of character. His smile and positive attitude will quickly tell you he’s still a star on the playing field of life.
Many famous scientists, actors, and statesmen struggled in school with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, but pressed forward learning in their own way, maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. They persevered and became great contributors to society, despite their challenges, or so called “disabilities”.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to see their “ability” and capabilities regardless of their weaknesses, challenges, or quirks of personality. Helping them to see their strengths and positive qualities helps them to learn to love themselves. When we teach them to see the “abilities” in others we teaches them how to love.
This week see the “ability” in your children and those around you. Look beyond any “disability” or limitation an individual might have to “see” the person they really are. Try out your new eyes on your children, spouse, and neighbors and see what new things you can see when you are looking for the “ability” in the people around you. Share your insights and observations in the comments below.
– Carolyn Flynn
Family drawing by Artist: Peipei