“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.
This is one phrase I have always pondered over. It seems to focus on the physical hurt and forget the emotional hurt. Words may not break my bones but they could break my heart. My bones can be mended with plasters and bandages, and the pain soothed by using an analgesic. However the last time I checked, a plaster for the heart has not been invented and neither is there an analgesic for a broken heart. So, is it really true that words will never hurt me? Hmmm
As I ponder over this I think about some famous people like Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of the 21st century and the greatest physicist of all time, who was severely dyslexic and autistic. My mind also goes to the man behind the light bulb – Thomas Edison, the greatest inventor of the 19th century. Thomas Edison was partially deaf and had a learning disability as well. At the age of 11, he could not read. I can only imagine what life would have been like for these men. I am sure some of their teachers gave up on them, probably their parents and supposed close family too. One thing was for sure though, if they were popular as children it will be for the wrong reasons, not for any reason anyone would want to be popular for.
One thing is certain though, these men did not let words hurt them. With a seemingly hopeless situation, they rose against all odds and made history. I am not in any way implying that these men did not feel hurt if and when they were spoken to negatively or when they were put down as a result of their disability. However in their own little world (that place where we all run to when we want to escape from it all), rather than ponder on the words spoken, they built an inner strength and determination. They focused more on their strength and abilities and less on their weakness. Their disability drove them to a point where they found their ability.
It couldn’t have been an easy journey but like an old adage says; ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ Be encouraged and take that first step today. I am certain without a doubt like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison every disabled person can also make history even against the greatest odds.
I was told several times that I wouldn’t live past certain ages all of which to the glory of God I have lived past. I was told not to even think about getting married or having a child simply because no one would want to marry someone with a disability. I was told if I attempted to have a child it would not be a natural birth but through Caesarean Section because I had both hips replaced with metal at very young age. I was told that If I had a child and the child lived through child birth, my child would not live past a certain age.
The odds of having a family was seriously against me, everything I was told seemingly made sense after all who in their right senses would want to marry someone knowing that there is a high chance that their spouse would be in and out of the hospital often and they might not even be able to have a child.
I am pleased to announce that not only am I happily married to a wonderful man but I also have a wonderful son born through natural birth, so come on all of you who have been called disabled, let us make history together.
Yes, words may hurt us, but we can treat them as ‘water of a ducks back’ and like Albert and Thomas also find our abilities in the midst of our disabilities.