I Want to Start a Movement: We are all gifted.
No one is perfect, right? It’s a common expression, but do we really mean it? If we meant it, we probably would not be labeling people as ‘gifted,’ ‘disabled,’ ‘typical,’ etc. What if we really all are gifted in some way, and as a result of those gifts we have limitations and disabilities?
I was recently reunited with my long-lost college friend, Jeff. He transferred when we were juniors, and we slowly lost touch. We were reunited by serving on the same non-profit board. He attended remotely, and it never crossed my mind that I knew him until we had a remote meeting with video, and there he was asking me if I remembered him. I certainly did; he dated my college roommate. My friendship with him lasted longer than that romance. My memories of him are so strong. He was smart, funny, and considerate. He remembers me as kind. Jeff uses a wheelchair. On one day, he scared me to death. He told me it was safe for us to go down a corkscrew ramp at the mall. I thought we were both going to die. He laughed the whole time.
If I was kind to him, it wasn’t because he was labeled; it was because he was a gift – a gift to me. We had become friends during a tough year in my life, and he was a reason I kept focused. After catching up, we learned that we both had gotten married and work in the same field.
Soon to be released is a movie called “Jeremy the Dud.” The premise of the movie is that the people we call “typical” are in the minority, and they are the “duds.” I am really looking forward to this movie, and I hope it raises some eyebrows. I hope it starts a movement!
In closing, I want to thank everyone who put on the annual semi-formal dance last month. I want to share a picture I will treasure. The guy in the picture is a gifted dancer – me, not so much. When I wanted to dance, he said YES. Please help me start a movement.