See the “Ability”

By Carolyn Flynn

healthy family relationships

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


Carolyn Flynn is a Relationship Expert and author of Heal Your Grief, SMART Talk, and Holiday Peace And Joy.

5 Responses to “See the “Ability””

  1. RedMango says:

    Very nice post!

  2. Lyle says:

    I love this article. I think the suggestions are really good too. I agree with the above comment. I think it is horrible to see people parking in a space marked disabled. Thank you for trying to make neighborhoods a better place.

  3. Jonathan says:

    This can be difficult to do. More people should put forth the effort to get to know a person instead of judging people based on how they look. It is something that everyone is guilty of from time to time. This is a great movement of bringing awareness to this subject.

  4. Ebony says:

    Superb article. We constantly instill this in our children right now. Just the other day my daughter was staring at one of our new neighbors because they had purple hair. I let her know how impolite it is to stare at another person because they look differently. Then I reminded her that the world is made up of people of all different backgrounds.

  5. Yaseen says:

    Thanks for raising this topic. In our neighborhood people are reluctant to get to know us because because we are Muslim. I wish our neighbors could read this article. We are very loving people, and we were born here America, yet we are not treated this way. Should I name the city and state?

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