Sunday, December 12, 2004

Seeing the Deeper Aspects of Life

It’s funny. I remember a conversation that Thomas Leonard had about opinions. He didn’t argue back after sharing his point of view (pushing many buttons along the way of course : ) and when he was asked why he didn’t argue back from someone who, believe it or not was becoming angry because he wasn’t arguing his response went something like…. “Who am I to argue? Mine is just one opinion. Who am I to be ‘right’? I'd rather listen and learn what I don't know”.

If we all did this at least some of the time, listened, opened our minds to what isn’t right in front of our noses, it would open our hearts to acceptance, to learning and growing in a world where, let’s face it, few “fit the mold”.

Tonight someone I have the utmost respect for reminded me that just because we don’t see something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The question that was up for debate (why, I still can’t fathom) was “Does cognitive impairment equal disability?” Many think a disability has to be visible. Not so.

The definition of disability is 1) A disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that interferes with or prevents normal achievement in a particular area. Or 2) Something that hinders or incapacitates.

Those with cognitive impairments face the same issues and challenges as the physically disabled, however, with the added frustrations and challenges of those who don't have a visible disability. Many need to compartmentalize things, people, situations, religions, races. Why not just accept an individual based on their individuality and help them become the best they can be? I’d love to begin a discussion on that topic.

Those who are even debating the issues, why pray tell should they be right? Theirs’ is only one opinion and an opinion at that, nothing factual.

Becoming more neutral is the first step toward non-judgment. Eventually, you begin to see the deeper aspects of life and people that are really wonderful, some might even say divine. Instead of quickly identifying people's faults and seeing them through that lens, you begin to lead with love. Not only do the people around you start to look better, but your entire spirit is enhanced by that generous, life-giving quality.” - Doc Childre and Howard Martin

Can’t ignorance, self-imposed when one chooses not to learn or open one’s mind, hinder more than anything else?

Donna Karlin

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