I received an incredibly beautiful and inspirational mail from a former client this week. It made me cry a few tears of joy and do the happy dance. It also made me think. Before we discuss it further, here’s the email – it’s written from the perspective of her one year old daughter, followed by a note from her mother.
Gia Joy in full on teaching mode.
“Hi, my name is Gia Joy. I came into this world almost a year ago and have had such an amazing year! I chose the perfect family to support me on my journey. I threw my parents for a loop when they learned I was different but I knew they could handle it! I am perfect, my body just works a little different than most peoples’. The docs have defined my body as having SMA, spinal muscular atrophy. I define my body as perfect! I am normal, my normal is just different than your normal. My parents are learning how my body works so they can help make my environment more comfortable for me but I know that everything is going to be fine and I am so excited for the life I am going to live! Life is awesome! My life is perfect and I am truly happy. I am excited being here just the way I am because I get to teach the world how being different is amazing and that I can do anything, we all can! Because after all, aren’t we all different? And we are all perfect! I know how awesome I am, do you know how awesome you are?”
“I wrote this from my heart after not knowing how to respond to people who would say they were so sorry for the diagnosis, or SMA sucks, or how I must be so devastated, or poor, poor Gia, or I knew something was wrong with her. Because that is not how I feel at all. I am not sad. I am truly happy to be able to live in this amazing world with her just the way she is. She’s awesome! I feel lucky and she’s teaching me so much.
I hope we are able to inspire others to see the world a little differently 😉
Big hugs xx
So, there you have it. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Little Gia Joy, with her bright and shiny light, has come to teach us all how to connect with our own, innate perfection. I’d say she’s coming out of the gate strong! She’s barely a year old, and is already getting thousands of people to talk about her (via this blog, for example). Wooohooo!
Why she’s so right
One of the reasons that this message, and messages like this, resonate so strongly with us, even brining up tears as well as fist bumps and high fives and happy dances, is because little Gia Joy is recognizing her own value, and by expressing it as such, giving those around her permission to recognize their own value, as well. And boy, could we use more of that, especially when it comes to how we engage with our kids.
I love to observe humans, large and small – how they interact with each other, how and why they react the way they do, what triggers them and why, etc. I’ve come to realize that children, in particular, are amazing teachers, especially when it comes to our control issues. If you are fearfully focused, if you trust more in the idea that things will go wrong than that they’ll turn out well, your kids, large and small, will dance around on that nerve until you can’t take it anymore. They’ll become riskier; they’ll stay out later; they’ll drive erratically; they’ll do all kinds of things that have you wondering if they have a death wish. They don’t. But they would rather do something dangerous than succumb to the idea that they are doomed. They would rather jump in a lake of fire than live their lives full of learned fear. They would rather lose control than be controlled.
“Special needs” kids take this teaching up another notch. You can try to discipline a non-special needs child into conformity, but you can’t yell at an autistic child, or a Down’s syndrome child, or a child with MS long or loud enough to make them change their ways. Nor would most people try. These kids cause us to set different expectations – if a child can’t physically follow you, you will not yell at them to do so. If they can’t psychologically pay attention to you for more than 5 minutes, you no longer try to change that with discipline. With these types of teachers, it’s not the kids that conform to the standards of the parents, it’s the parents who conform to the standards of the kids. And wouldn’t you know it, the kids’ standards are much more aligned with who we really are.
What they’re here to teach us
When we engage with a “special” child, we so often realize a level of compassion we didn’t even previously know we were capable of. We have more patience. We accept that our way is not the only way; their way may be just as good, and much more valid for them. We accept that we cannot simply bend them to our will. We let go and allow ourselves to connect on a much deeper level.
As the lovely Gia Joy pointed out, we also begin to redefine what’s “normal”. Why is having two functioning arms and two functioning legs considered normal, while missing one or more of those is less normal, abnormal or considered a disability? Why is a physical challenge a disability, while an emotional one is not? If you are a sociopath, are you not much more disabled than someone who may have to get creative when he wants to climb stairs? And how is overcoming a physical (and I’m lumping disabilities which are thought to be caused by brain abnormalities into the physical category) challenge so much more inspiring than triumphing over emotional issues?
When we see the Paralympics, we tearfully cheer as a runner with two prosthetic legs sprints across the finish line. “Look at all he had to accomplish!”, we say. “Look at how much he had to overcome!” And then we briefly look at our own lives, and say a quick prayer of gratitude for all we have. And sure, this can cause us to see our own issues in a new light – after all, if the dude with no legs can do it, then what do we have to complain about, right? But there are a few issues with this view.
First of all, we can’t truly identify with someone who has a life so different from our own. We don’t honor people overcoming challenges – otherwise we’d celebrate the guy who overcame a crippling emotional issue just as much as the sprinter with no legs. We are inspired by those who face challenges we can’t possibly even imagine. We’re often not so inspired by someone who overcame the thing we’re currently struggling with. It tends to actually make us feel worse (if we’re not ready to shift the resistance). We want the triumphant person to be different, that way we never have to do what they did. We can stay small.
Second, and I know this is going to sound a bit ugly, when we cheer on someone who has triumphed over something we can’t really even identify with , we’re grateful that it’s not us. We’re thankful that we don’t have it as hard as this poor bastard does. We’re inspired by what he’s accomplished, but deep down, we don’t think that we could ever do the same in his position.
And with that view, even though we think we’re praising them for being so brave (because it apparently takes bravery to get out of bed every morning in their terrible condition. I mean, if it was me, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house. Ever. And yes, that’s sarcasm), we’re actually diminishing them. We’re actually being incredibly condescending. We’re not honoring their journey as perfect for them. We’re saying that something has gone wrong, that their lives would be better if only they were “healthy”. We may yell a well-intentioned “good for you!”, but what we’re really saying is: “Good for you for overcoming all that hardship and prejudice and judgment and doing something worthwhile with your life anyway. Good for you for not just crumbling into a useless pile of misery, the way society pretty much expects you to (and the way I’m afraid I would if I were you). Good for you for daring to believe in yourself, for daring to think of yourself as “normal”, for just going out and living your life as if you had a perfect right to, you know, just because you exist.
I’m sorry, but I have to call bullshit. Of course, people mean well, and these comments come from a good place. So, what’s wrong with being inspired by someone with less than the average number of limbs getting out of bed? Am I saying that it’s a bad thing to cheer them on? Well, yes and no.
You see, it’s fine to celebrate people’s accomplishments. When they set themselves a big goal and meet it, we can certainly genuinely be happy for them. But, when it’s special to us that someone has done an everyday activity that the rest of us take for granted, it usually means that we kind of had the expectation that they couldn’t and/or wouldn’t do it. We’re looking at them as though they are less capable. Ok, maybe they can’t get out of bed the way that we get out of bed, but so what? We only get out of bed the way we do because we were taught to. How is it more difficult for a kid with no legs to learn to get out of bed? It isn’t, unless you expect him to do it exactly the way his brother who has two legs does it.
When your kid dresses himself for the first time, cheer him on. When you see a grown man do it, don’t make a big deal out of it, even if he’s missing a few limbs (unless you’re his physiotherapist and he’s doing it for the first time). Chances are, he’s been dressing himself for years and it’s just an everyday activity for him. Hearing how brave he is for doing something we all do isn’t going to make him feel good. In fact, it can send the message that this is a huge accomplishment for him. Allow him to dream bigger. Way bigger.
Our unique challenges make us great
Here’s the problem: We’ve become so enamored with conformity, that we expect everyone to do everything the same way. We don’t allow for different body configurations, different abilities, different brain chemistry, different ways of learning and thinking and problem solving. When see a woman with no arms struggling to pick up a dropped piece of clothing, we assume that she needs help. After all, she can’t do it the “normal” way, so whatever else she can do will not be as good. But what if we could acknowledge that this is HER way, and that she will ask for help if and when she needs it? What if we came to understand that someone doing something vastly different from us is not worse in any way, it’s just different? And what if we acknowledged that what we’ve seen as disabilities are actually the catalysts to finding various ways of doing things? And what if we finally fucking realized that finding loads of different ways to do and look at things, is an incredibly valuable thing?
How does a person with some “condition” see the world? What might we learn from their perspective if we took the time to listen, not from a “poor them” point of view, but by connecting with them as an equal? What if we learned to respect all abilities, all variations and blessed them as equally valid?
This is what I believe many of these kids have come to teach us – they are here to show us their value, and remind us of our own in the process. They are here to destroy our old definition of the word “normal” and redefine it. They’re here to show us that a child with special needs can set much bigger goals than “learn how to tie their own shoe laces”. They can be anything they want to be. They can become business owners and employees, artists and accountants, dancers and martial artists, parents and politicians. In short, they can be anything they want to be, not just what we think they should be grateful to settle for. And of course, so can we…
Can you imagine?
Can you imagine a world where parents of a “special” child will no longer be told “I’m sorry” by the doctor, but rather “congratulations!”?
Can you imagine a world where we don’t see those who are differently abled as limited, but trust them to figure it out in their own way?
Can you imagine supporting them in that process, rather than trying to figure it out for them and giving them our solutions?
Can you imagine a world where children come home and proudly tell you about the differences they discovered within themselves and others that day?
Can you imagine them beaming with joy and appreciating each difference, rather than being ashamed of it?
Can you imagine an education system where finding a new way to come up with the correct answer is praised, rather than discouraged?
Can you imagine a world where everyone is welcome and accepted and honored and respected, no matter how rich or poor, how young or old, how productive or not, how “normal” or weird?
Can you imagine a world where we all fully accept ourselves and others, and where that is the new normal?
Can you imagine a world where each of us shines our own unique light, fully, completely, confidently, without abandon, and we all light up the Universe together?
I can. So can Awesome Gia Joy and her mommy. Can you?
Things change because we blink. Why do we do that ? Pls,
Let me tell why.
Because we compel,each other, like pulse- minus…yen- yang !
We have always done it with out any body noticing it. Some thing
to to with fear. but me do not thing so.
I think it is only because it was not thought to us from our own
Okay, you don`t remember me , that`s okay.
electromagnetically and biologically the consciousnesses of cells within it,however,are eternal
yeah… or just out of the ordinary…
I’m so sorry about that. I know it doesn’t belong here but I really wanted to thank you for The letter to the universe. It really helped ease my mind and took away my concerns. It took me way longer than 20 minutes to write it though, I couldn’t stop! What amazed me the most is how without even knowing it I started writing in present tense at some point. Thank you so much.
And it already worked! It’s unbelievable! I’m so grateful. Thank you!
Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful beautiful post! I am so happy that my baby girl inspired it <3 We feel so blessed to have her in our lives and this article really touched our hearts, SPOT ON!
Yes, I agree, CONGRATULATIONS to us! Congratulations for the opportunity to learn so much and expand and appreciate life, be incredibly grateful for every single day, and revel in love! Congratulations that such a beautiful soul chose us to go down this path with. Congratulations for all those we will encourage to expand. Congratulations to be surrounded everyday by such a little person who has so much light, knowledge, strength, joy and love. Congratulation for the opportunity to embrace 'different!"
I know it's not going to be easy, but I don't want easy, easy is boring! I want adventure, excitement and LOVE! I love a challenge 🙂
Wether she in this physical reality for 5 years or 40 years does not matter, what does matter is the joy that she has already shown us.
The doctors told us she would never sit and guess what, she sat today for 2 whole minutes- by herself! (we were super excited but not surprised)
She chose this as part of her theme before she came into this world and who are we to judge that? We honor and respect her and will support her the best we can. A diagnosis has no meaning – we assign it meaning. And we've decided to make this the best thing that could happen to us. We are embracing it and supporting Gia the best we can – the rest is up to her.
Thank you for this wonderful post!
Huge hugs! xx
You’re so very welcome Ruby. Thanks so much for being willing to share your story with me and the Happy Shiny Puppy Army. 🙂
Huge smooshy hugs,
Gia Joy is the * Positive Pull Of Polarity * She does not know what her future will hold, but,she will have a fun and happy life because it is always fun and happy as she grows into her own person hood !
What a beautiful smile !
What a beautiful smile! Gia Joy has a beaming megawatt inner light. I felt happy just looking at her.
I do think there is a lot of aspirational blandness in the LOA world. We are all to a greater or lesser sense indoctrinated into wanting the same things: to be a billionaire, to have the ‘perfect’ body, to have fancy cars, etc.
Honestly, I think that is part of the reason why some people can’t manifest what they want, because deep down they don’t really want it. It is just insecurity and cultural brainwashing. There is nothing wrong with these desires. There are just a lot more options.
I say this, because as I release more resistance, my desires have dramatically morphed as well. A confident happy person will want completely different things than someone whose primary goal is to manage their anxiety by trying to look good for others.
If they were truly zero stigma attached to being different, what difference would being differently abled make?
Also, we are not that far scientifically from collectively manifesting a reality where we can alter the human genome at will to regrow missing limbs or cure any illness. In the last hundred years we have manifested organ transplants, cosmetic surgery, sex reassignment surgeries, and thousands of lifesaving advances.
It’s all part of the expansion, knowing our own power.
Your comment particularly stood out to me, especially the part about the seeming sameness of desires in the LOA community. I sometimes feel a little insecure about my desires because they may not seem ‘big’ enough compared to the ones frequently spoken about (eg. Luxury cars, huge houses, being a billionaire, Hollywood celebrity, etc.) I definitely want things that would be perceived as outer success, but on a smaller scale or less conventional way. I’ve read a lot of articles before how you have to think really ‘big’ (including on here, by the way…) and that if you aren’t, then you are cutting yourself short. But I truly don’t want a lot of those ‘big’ things and trying to force myself to want them feels off. Sometimes the authoritarive way LOA practitioners and bloggers write makes me doubt myself though, like I should be wanting more, should be doing things differently, should never fall into a negative space from time to time.
For a long time I’ve suspected that a lot of this encouraging of certain desires has to do with culture, upbringing, and where you live. And it seems like many in the LOA community have similar backgrounds. Just because I don’t want things on a huge scale does that mean I’m not letting myself what I want? What if I’m a more detailed oriented person and prefer a simpler, more relaxed life? Something more subdued? 🙂 What if the idea of enjoying my life without the pressure of ‘playing big’ is what makes me feel happy?
I’ve also noticed that as my vibration raises and I get clearer on what I want, my dreams change and have become simpler! This sameness of encouraged desires just seems like another way of conformity. What a boring place the world would be if we all wanted the same things, to live the same lifestyles, in the same places, with the same people.
I want to reassure you that you are not the only LOA person who wants a simple, relaxed, happy life. I have the same desire you do for simplicity and happiness without thinking big. It may well be that my desire for simple happiness, without “thinking big” is a result of my upbringing and my unconscious “downsizing” of my desires, but a simple relaxed happy life is what I want. I do not think these is any order of wants or desires, and I think that any attempt to place a hierarchy on desires, is misguided. Of course, any judgement of our desires is only as valid as we allow it to be.
Thank you for your reply John, it feels good to know that there are others reading this blog who prefer a slower and more relaxed lifestyle. In the end isn’t it really all about happiness and living the life that reflects your highest joy? When I think of the happiest moments of my life, they were often really simple moments, moments of pure connection and joy.
Hi Emma and John
There’s a quote by Melody on her Twitter site posted May 1 saying “Your life purpose is to be happy, whatever happy means to you”. Slow, fast, etc etc it’s all good so long as it makes YOU happy……
This conversation reminds me of that Emma Goldman quote, “I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
Not that it has to be either/or, but desires are so specific and individual. Like I have always been attracted to skinny guys with big noses and glasses (like my husband). I am just not attracted to muscley, conventionally handsome, men. And why should I be? That is why there is so much variety.
I have a friend whose dream is to grow all her own food and live without electricity. Is that desire wrong? Or the minimalists who love to live in bare spaces with only three perfect outfits in the closet? Should they hit the outlet malls? Should Thoreau have aspired to own a ten bedroom mansion instead of a shack on a pond?
These preferences only become a problem, when people turn a preference for simplicity or opulence into a mandate or position of superiority. And that only really becomes a problem, when other people believe them and deny their real desires.
Personally, I want a life of vast experiential richness and relative material simplicity. I want to change the world, not just own expensive parts of it.
I love skinny tall men often with glasses and larger noses too!! (And great bone structure!) Hehe many people find my preferences strange, but it’s just what I love! And that’s one of the things I want to manifest…a wonderful loving life partner with those physical traits (of course other characteristics too, but these physical ones really delight me.)
It’s true that I do want some things that could be seen as big or luxurious, but like you, many of my desires seem more experiential and materially simple than all the fancy stuff I read others want!
I like that quote you included…Fresh roses and fresh quality food over diamonds for me. I like diamonds and other gemstones too, but fresh flowers have more ‘aliveness’ about them and have such a beautiful smell.
Thanks to Sage, Emma and Lorraine for being part of this conversation! The whole exchange has helped me clarify my own desires! May you all align with exactly what you want!
Like Benedict Cumberbatch? He really rings my bell:)
Yeah, I like gemstones and other luxury items too, but when I first immersed myself in LOA I was just envisioning this kind of generic rich person existence that wasn’t really me. Like I would visualize diamonds, but I prefer black opals. Or I would visualize a standard fancy house, when really I would prefer a quirky gothic Victorian artist playground with a lush garden.
My vision of being a rich person also includes lots of philanthropy, like J. K. Rowling or Oprah, and many LOA teachers frown on that–like you are all powerful and can have anything you want–except when what you want is to help people’s dreams come true. And I argued with those teachers in my head for awhile, until I became confident enough to think for myself and not care about what they thought, even though I respected their opinion.
That said, it is true if you raise your vibration money follows. Money has never been my main focus, but in the last year and half since I have fully dedicated myself to shifting my beliefs, I have manifested close to six figures of unexpected cash. And 90% of it, I had to do zero work for. It came in the form of gifts, prize money, my husband receiving several promotions and raises etc. I didn’t have to take massive action. It just fell in my lap.
I am only now just getting to the point, where I am empowered and confident enough that I can intend something large and specific in a short time frame and have it happen. This weekend I manifested three very specific things I intended to transpire in a 48 hour time frame: finding a great new apartment (I’m moving to another city), my husband to get the job he wanted for 5,000$ more than they planned to pay in salary, and to sell another short story.
So it is going to be cool to see that happens next. Although I can tell I need to clean up my vibe more, now that I have leveled up.
You know I’m not trolling Melody. I’ve bought 3 of your products. But I’m very much a realist and I’m getting a bad feeling about the whole LOA thing. This blog post has triggered me.
When someone wants money, they are told to raise their vibration. When there’s a health issue for which no cure is possible, suddenly it’s a wonderful gift which should be celebrated? The universe needed to know what it feels like??
Think of someone with MND, or any severe, incurable degenerative neurological condition. It involves an enormous toll on the sufferer, with horrendous physical and emotional breakdown and an eventual humiliating death. This is because the precious goddamn universe needed to know what it feels like to have MND??? F**K such a universe.
I read a lot about all this shit (including new age, religion and philosophy) and I have to say that retributive karma is looking a more likely cause for the horrors of the world. I wish it wasn’t the case and of course I remain open minded, but just saying there are millions of situations around the globe happening right now which deny the sufferer ANY chance of hope or change. Torture, rape, false imprisonment, murder, natural disasters… and so on. It’s happening right now as I type this… all over the goddamn planet.
You’ve asked a big question and there’s no way I can address all the trauma in the world in one little answer here (or even one blog post. That’s why I break them down issue by issue). This blog post was never meant to explain WHY people come in differently abled, or why we experience pain. It was meant to offer the perspective that all life, no matter how different, has value. And when we judge someone’s experience as “less than” because they are in pain, we are devaluing them. And I don’t mean that their life has value in the “and the Universe benefits from our suffering” way. I mean it has value, period. There is always the potential for joy in any situation. Ask Victor Frankl or Nelson Mandela or any of the War Veterans who have lost limbs. Do you really want to tell them they don’t get to ever be happy again, or that finding joy in their situation, no matter how dire, was inappropriate?
I don’t believe that we create suffering just because we want to know what it feels like. I believe that we allow ourselves the possibility of suffering, because by experiencing the absence joy, or freedom, or abundance or whatever, we expand our ability to feel what the other side of that coin is. But also, I have to say that I have seen so much evidence of the fact that a shift in energy or perspective brings about a different experience for people, no matter what. People who were in pain for years, who have recovered and speak of benefits that others have a hard time understanding (but which they, themselves, revere). This is not overcompensation or wishful thinking. I have personally spoken to countless people who swear that the biggest tragedy of their lives was their biggest blessing. It is damn near impossible to fully understand such a perspective unless you’ve lived it. But finding the hidden blessings within your own life, particularly the difficult passages, is a good start.
I also believe that many people come here with a HUGE agenda, particularly now, to shift a tremendous amount of energy not just for themselves, but for others. They are helping to transform darkness and pain into light and joy. They are our gladiators, our heroes. And they are our teachers, if we are willing to listen without condemnation or pity.
Much of humanity’s darkness is now coming out to be purged. There’s not actually been an increase in the bad stuff, but there has been a massive increase in how much of it we see (how much of it is reported to us via the news and other media). It’s coming up in the consciousness so we can see it, shift it and release it. We’re also seeing a massive increase in the good stuff. The mainstream media just isn’t very good at reporting that, YET. But it is happening, if you care to look for the evidence. The world is getting better. People are getting kinder. We are helping each other more. Grassroots movements are taking hold everywhere and problems are actually beginning to get solved. People are finally standing up and taking back their power.
We, as a human race, are currently going through our teenage years. Consider any teenager living with strict, dictatorial, puritanical, overly controlling and massively fearful parents and ask them if their growth is easy… Of course it isn’t. Does it have to be this hard? No, not by design. But this is where we are. Personally, it feels much more empowering and therefore better to me to think that there is a purpose to this (and it is what I believe and which my guides have confirmed to me over and over) than that we are being punished for something that happened in another life (which I do not believe). But I will admit that it has taken me a long time and a great deal of focus to get to the point where I can fully see it that way. I don’t expect it to be an easy shift for anyone else, either.
I hope that helps a little. Hang in there.
Thank you for taking the time to properly explain your perspective Melody. I’ll read over this many times and just let some things sink in.
As you know, many eastern traditions say we flip constantly between both sides of the coin. Moving from joy-to-misery-and-back-to-joy over and over, across many lifetimes until we get sick of both and decide to move beyond the whole coin thing. And maybe this relates to your examples of people who assign value to their difficult circumstances. Maybe this horrible pain and suffering is what is needed to trip them into a state of unconditioned happiness.
I can sort of imagine what it would be like to flip back into conditioned happiness (changed circumstances), but I don’t know if it will ever happen. A complete letting go of everything is probably what is needed. ‘Enlightenment’ and all that. It still seems so unatainable, but I know there are a tiny bunch of people in the world who are already there. I hope in your posts ahead you can do more on the topic of enlightenment.
What if I where to say the larger part of you needs you to experience the emotional scene.
We are here for a purpose, yes we create our own realities,you lay out your present, past & future. This is all a part of what we are,have to face our fears…
You are welcome !
what if I tell you this world was not built from the top down but rather the bottom up.
human didn’t create the atoms, the atoms create human. you and I are the sum of random atoms.
the earth didn’t populate human, human populate the earth.
religion didn’t make us, we made religion.
god didn’t make us, we made god (as a coping mechanism).
we didn’t change because the universe willed it (there is no central authority).
its the other way around, we change the universe one person at a time.
the whole changes because the parts changed.
The universe is not in control of our lives – we do.
Melody, you encourage your readers/followers to ignore other people’s pain and suffering by pretending that everything is fine and that the victims don’t feel sad or pain – they just feel joy.
You didn’t stop there – you want to congratulate the disabled, like it is something worth celebrating.
you are withdrawing compassion and act as if it is a good thing.
you are not doing those victims any favor by writing this post.
Shouldn’t we search for similarities between people and appreciate that instead of promoting the differences?.
To me, compassion and pity are not the same thing. I teach compassion, but I discourage pity. To pity someone is to diminish them.
I don’t ignore people’s pain (in fact, I teach the opposite of that, as ignoring your pain is denial), but I don’t focus on other people’s pain. I don’t give it energy. I don’t amplify it.
And yes, I congratulate the disabled. I congratulate everyone. I see value, great value, in every life. I don’t believe that treating people as though they are less than. I’ve seen first hand how respecting others, no matter their ability, brought out the best in them. I’ve laughed with people in a hospital, when no one else was willing to do that, and been told “Wow, my pain is better.” I’ve joked around with a paraplegic, and been told “Thank you for not treating me with kid gloves. It feels good to be seen as an equal.” I’ve seen how people who had been told all their lives that they would never be able to be “normal” and should be grateful just to exist, blossomed in my presence simply because I believed that they were capable of more. They began to dream. And from those dreams, they created something new, something hardly anyone thought was even possible.
I believe it’s time to stop demonizing differences and celebrate them instead. And sure, we can celebrate the sameness, too, but I like to take things one step further.
The disabled want to be treated as “normal members” of the community, they are not asking us to put them a pedestal.
if you ask a disabled person, he will tell you he wanted to be recognised as a normal member of the community who happens to have a disability (an accident). He does not want to be seen as a disabled person who happens to live in the community. Being a member of the community is his identity. Having a disability is not his identity.
This is why focusing on and celebrating the disabled is worse than pity them.
yes we should be aware of and acknowledge the differences but that’s where we should stop.
focusing on the sameness, the oneness and unity is a much much better approach.
we already are the same, we already are equal.
thanks to advancements in Science, we now know for sure that every human on the planet is the same, we came from the same family. All of us have the same DNA.
Let me explain…
Our Primary DNA, the one that get passed on is 100% the same for every human.
Our secondary DNA, the one that interact with and varies with the environment is 98% the same. There is a 2% difference.
1% – our physical bodies varies in shape/size depends on geography/living conditions. This is the result of the long term interaction with the environment.
1% – life choices. Human choices are very similar everywhere.
the sameness between us is overwhelming at 98%
the differences is a minority within a minority – it’s so small that we can treat it as a margin of error. in other words, we can ignore it.
why do you want to focus on the differences, celebrate it and take it further ?
don’t you know that focusing on the differences and defending those differences would lead to selection bias and group bias.
that leads to the promotion of individualism.
individualism leads to separation of interest – breaking up family and communities.
individualism leads to regular conflict of interests.
conflict of interest tends to lead to confrontation.
are you aware of what you are putting into motion with this post?
Who are you Melody?
Very powerful, moving, and inspiring.
You are absolutely right about letting them do their thing and not asking them straightaway whether they need help.
When a disabled person walks in, it’s ok to look at them as long as it’s the same way you’d look at any other “normal” person.
Sometimes I felt like a jerk whenever I bumped into someone “special” and just looked straight ahead as if they were not “special” at all. But after that I realized that it was ok, it was ok to see them normally (which should be in the first place!)
Several months back I met a guy (30-ish) who couldn’t walk without canes (the ones with supports for the forearms). When he climbed the stairs, my friend asked him if he could do it. And of course, the answer: a simple and easy “yes”. Now don’t get me wrong. I think asking is a very beautiful gesture, but this post just reminded me that it’s perfectly fine to honestly treat “special” people normally–unless they ask for help. But most of the time, yes, they can manage!
Thank you, Melody.
Right now, Gia sees the world full of joy and positivity. It isn’t a bad idea if the rest of the world would do that too.
“They can become business owners and employees, artists and accountants, dancers and martial artists, parents and politicians”.
Not the ones who suffer with severe spasticity, visual problems, dribbling, deafness, and incontinence … the ones who are doomed to live an horrific life in a wheelchair or bed. The poor parents would rightly be given sympathy and comfort. No one in their right mind would think of that as a gift. It would be a horrible, horrible curse with no hope of betterment.
Melody, please explain: how does the LOA handle the terrible truth of life as it is for some people?
What about those situations where the child has a severe disability which causes horrible stress for the full time carer/parent?
I’ve never seen or heard of anyone healing from that situation. Why not? What’s going on?
Firstly,what a gorgeous girl Gia is. That smile made my day!
I think of how wonderful and blessed Gia is with her parents as role models.
As a parent myself, I consider how my impact my values on my kids and think as diverse they are I am always learning and I am open to what I can learn from them. This makes me feel immensely grateful.
I can imagine positive outcomes, positive attitudes rather than negative ones. It starts with understanding and awareness.
Thank you for sharing Gias’s story. Food for thought:)
I do not know how to tell you how special this girl will turn-out.
Again she is a gift. This is the why & how physically challenged we
Melody this is such a wonderful post, I am crying myself…
All of your posts are great but this one was particularly moving emotionally and really touched on something that I think will cause a lot of people to re evaluate how they view people with disabilities and their reaction to what they are able to accomplish.
Like you said,our being inspired by these people and what have you is really at the core coming from a kind of a condescending place…of course we really don’t realize that. It is kind of like when we worry about people close to us and think we need to do certain things for them..we mean well in our worry and concern but the underlying message is that we don’t think they are capable and we are diminishing them without realizing it.
And in diminishing others we are really diminishing ourselves. That woman’s view of her daughter is amazing and as such, I am sure she will go on to experience all sorts of awesomeness as a result of her mother’s empowering perspective.
Melody this made me wonder something. In the future, if Gia Joy happens to decide living with SMA is unwanted and she would prefer something else instead, would it be possible for her to align with a perfectly “normal” body for herself?
Natalie, it is my belief, that is where “miracles” come from. You sometimes hear about people who lived with horrible conditions for years to find out they were misdiagnosed and then “cured”. I believe that those events are due to a person changing alignment.
Amazing parent. Beautiful baby. Awesome post. Thanks Melody!