Saturday, September 17, 2011


The definition of someone who has a disability could be: "Someone who works hard to achieve the most amazing results." Fact is, you don't have to be sitting in a wheelchair or dealing with some on going disease to simply become depressed and give up on life.

I have overcome my own barriers in life to achieve success in quite a few arenas and there is a whole lot of proof that tells or shows us that others have too. My mother, who deals with her own disability, has come so far and is doing so well in not only my eyes, but the multiple eyes of others. My mother attends an Aphasia program (a program for people with communication disorders) as well as being a client with the Ontario March of Dimes. Through these two organizations I have met some people who've suffered from stroke, aneurysms, heart attacks, people who live with the aid of a wheelchair or walker; the list can go on. The stories I read and the people I see on television; it is amazing! The things people with a disability can accomplish.

The other day I watched a great movie called Soul Surfer, a story based on the real life events of Bethany Hamilton.; A girl who at the young age of thirteen was attacked by a shark and lost her arm. Her faith and determination were truly inspiring! It was the documentary after the film that really got to me; to hear her own words.

People are capable of so much and it is beautiful to watch them stand tall and overshadow any barriers in life that they run into, to accomplish things. Some of us need to be reminded of this every-so-often, because that term disability, or even the phrase of needing to overcome a barrier(s), can sometimes paint a damaging picture; for others as well in our own minds. The word disability can sound awful, but it can really be a beautiful thing. We just need to learn to focus on the content inside and not just the word.

We all have our own strengths to contribute.
No one is the same, but we are ALL equal.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Three C's

One of my past jobs included a supervisory position that had me hire, interact and manage staff. Because of various circumstances surrounding me at the time, my job was, you could say, made difficult. But I tried to make things work and I think for the most part did a pretty good job. I had things well organized and planned out, I kept communication lines open to the best of my ability, information on policies and procedures were made available whenever or where ever needed.
Making sure things run smoothly are not just part of my strong work ethic, but an application I apply, or try to apply, to all things in my life. I believe that if you just take the time and think things through before reacting, get all the information needed to take the proper steps, you can avoid any undo-hardships and stress. Problems may, and on the occasion will, still occur, not turning out like you'd hope, but you'll still be breathing.

Anyway, one of the things I did was to create a bulletin board for the main office (a fair sized one) to hold key information on various things, events, news, etc.... Notices could be put up or taken down whenever appropriate. One poster though, on 11 x 14 inch paper and laminated, remained up always. It was there for myself and all staff to look at everyday, a reminder, and a poster I think maybe all of us should mentally carry in our minds...... 'cause it applies to everything. That poster was titled "The Three C's."
The Three C's are Caring, Courtesy and Common Sense.

Every single person I meet for the the first time automatically receives the benefit of the doubt. Call it being naive or whatever you wish, but I see the good, or want to see the good, in all people. However, I am a cautious person, (another great C word) and whether it happens quickly or gradually I come to the conclusion that the Three C's are just not quite there. Because of my optimistic nature though, I do believe the majority of us carry those C's, only they tend to get buried down deep, tucked away, and for some reason they don't often surface, if at all.
I tend to think that there are three things that get in the way of our Three C's. (Curious play on numbers) One of those things would be laziness; Caring for something that you are doing or for someone who may not fully understand can take up a lot of energy. Then there is the fact that everything and everyone seems to be in a rush; almost always. Things need to done, we need to be places, and the need to do it can mean pushing Common Sense out of the way. Most often Common Sense goes hand in hand with a little thing called patience. Finally, the one I like the least but see every so often, is selfishness, it can be pretty easy to only want to do what's needed for for yourself than extend a simple Courtesy to someone else.

As I said above, I believe the Three C's are within us all. And it is in my opinion that if we pushed some of those other things to the side and allowed our C's to re-surface, we might just find that life is a whole lot more comfortable and easier than we realized. Caring, Courtesy and Common Sense; think about it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Maybe it is because I've been through so much in my life, but those connections that are made through family and friends, and even the odd acquaintance, along with the little moments that they can produce, truly touch my heart. The simplest of gestures or the highly profound actions, they are the things that allow me to enjoy life. 

Let's face it, the days we face, the situations, they can be at times miserable. We come face to face with horrible, shocking and sad realities. It can be hard to go on and see past the darkness. These are the times we have to remember, life is beautiful! We have to be strong and force our way through the quagmire to find that silver lining. Because it is there; in every and all situations. And when I say 'life is beautiful' I'm not just referring to the breathtaking scenery of mother nature, I'm talking about people. Family, friends or strangers can offer the most delicate of flowers when least expected. People can say and/or do the most amazing, sincere, heartfelt things, when they, you or someone else is pinned up against a rock!

I like to think of myself as a strong person. Physically.... maybe, emotionally.... definitely. I've been through some dark times, and I have survived. I will continue to do so. But it is those connections to people, to life, that makes all the difference.

Recently I found myself in a dilemma, I had an accident and was struck with a bit of panic because I didn't want what had happened to me to spill over to my mom and create more worry than necessary. A name popped into my head and I reached out for help. I won't say I was surprised to have received the lending hand, but I was touched by the thoughtfulness that came along with it. This was from a person I had interacted with (briefly) only twice over the last year and a half. It was once a friendship I had sadly thought lost. Whether this friendship is to be rekindled remains a question. But it is the connection, even if small, that is what led to this moment, this thoughtful action. It was this connection that helped me think positively while I got through what I knew I could.
These beautiful connections are all around and can pop up when least expected. We have to keep an eye out for them, really see and except and appreciate them. They are part of the make-up of life. The way I see it, if I allow these connections, big or small, to wash over me, to fill me up, I can get through anything.