The Determined Ones
“There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more’ - Robert Hensel
Our differences make us similar
If you have had the pleasure of working or meeting someone who is differently abled than yourself, count yourself very lucky. I had the wonderful experience of being surrounded by so many wonderful individuals with strong personalities and energies recently and I found the meaning behind the rightly coined term ‘people of determination’. Humans are so much more than what we can do and accomplish. We often forget that one of the most important things we will ever do for ourselves or others is recognizing and honoring our differences. Our differences are really the key fragments of a human that make us so very similar. Whether these differences act as strength or weakness, those who accept and pursue life are, to me, ‘the determined ones’.
They are determined to be better than yesterday; the only measure that makes sense in an uncertain world. They are determined to find the wins of today; not let the losses bring them down. They are determined to find their rightful place, in a world which wasn’t made for them. They are determined to believe that people who will accept them as they are, live and breathe the same air as they do. They are determined to live a life they are proud of, despite all the things they accept they may never accomplish. They are determined to smile on days that are gloomy, often to bring a smile to their friends face.
Inclusion elevates all
Inclusivity needs to be a much stronger narrative in this generation. Only when we rise together, do we actually rise as a civilization. People of determination fight for inclusion more than ever just to be given basic opportunities as others. The right to work, the right to education, with other children or those alike, and above all, the right to be accepted in society. We need to understand that inclusion is not for the benefit of the determined one; it’s actually for the benefit of each and every one of us. The intention to build an inclusive society actually teaches us our core values. We learn the meaning of true acceptance; where we accept with no expectation of changing the person. We learn tolerance and patience and how to see people for more than the label they are assigned.
Opportunity is what needs to be equal and people of determination are so passionate and when given the right opportunities, they do find value in it. When you work with different people, you realize we all need the same things to try a shot at anything and we have a conscience that we rely on. My experience with these lovely people has only strengthened my belief in humanity; being around them has made me feel that kindness and multi-fold reciprocity of it exists. Welcome them with love and care and watch them grow and exceed your expectations.
The power of listening
The biggest personal takeaway from this whole experience really was finding the core difference between ordinary people and these extraordinary people of determination. They demand we prioritize our power to listen. We tend to listen to respond rather than understand, as time or priorities usually take precedence in our daily lives. Their special quirks or individual abilities require observance so we can truly understand how to rightfully care for them. My personal experience has helped me learn and discover their fascinating lives and abilities, if I choose to listen. By listen, I mean give myself the time to understand why they are communicating what they are saying and if there is any way I can support them at that present moment. The truth is that their life and growth is far more challenging in a world not built for them, but if we all choose kindness and love over pity and sorrow, they have the ability to make this a beautifully meaningful world.
Note of Gratitude:
I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation for FAME: UAE’s biggest inclusive event for allowing me to live this magical experience and for gifting me these precious memories.