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Motivation and Disability – Religion and Politics

As with just about any other thing in life, understanding of two subjects that seem separate from one another, but in reality are strongly related—in this case, motivation and disability—is not a simple thing with which to come to grips.

To begin with, the two seem entirely unrelated on first glance, and it’s not until you dig a little, that you begin to realize just how related the two really are.

To start my actual discussion of these two apparently unrelated things, I should begin by talking about a couple of folks I have known in the course of time who were unable to see (using their eyes).

The first was a mechanic (primarily diesel, as I recall) that I met many years ago. I don’t even recall his name, but it has literally been some forty years since I last saw him, and I only knew him fleetingly as a result of a school work experience program.

I may not have known him particularly well, but those I worked with in that program knew him quite well—at least from a work perspective (maybe personally too, I couldn’t say).

Multiple skilled mechanics had only high praise to heap upon the man. He was, they pretty much all acknowledged, as good a mechanic as they had ever met. Obviously, he had to “compensate” for his lack of visual acuity, by listening very carefully, using his hands with great skill, and to some lesser degree, counting on the visual ability of others to confirm things he could not discern through other means.

The man, it turns out, had worked in the same job for many years, and was a genuine asset to the organization for whom he toiled by all accounts I have ever heard.

Now let me leave my discussion of this man, to embark on the discussion of another, Johnny by name (not sure of the spelling).

I met Johnny rather more recently—only within the last five years. He ran (and I think, though I’m not sure, owned) a small restaurant that I came to frequent on a pretty regular basis for a time. To be fair, it was not anything like a five-star establishment. Even so, the food was good, as were the prices.

On most days, Johnny could be seen dealing with the same issues that any small businessman must confront and conquer. Will my staff be on time? Did this supplier actually send me what I ordered? Do I have enough of this or that?

On top of this, Johnny took phone orders (yes, you read that correctly), provided certain “side items” to his customers, and handled payment (including calculating prices in his head), and did many more things.

Rare was the day when I did not see Johnny at the counter of the little restaurant.

The point of bringing up these two individuals, is that, though they had what almost everybody would argue is a “legitimate disability,” neither person chose to allow that “drawback” to hold them back from doing things they decided they needed or wanted to do.

In fairness, not everybody having a disability (or more than one of them), can do everything he or she wishes to do or be all he or she wishes to be. As a matter of reality though, neither can those not possessing what appear to be any disabilities.

Put Simply we’re all “bound by” certain factors within both ourselves and in our environment. That’s an important realization.

An equally important understanding to have is, “We all have some sort of disability or disabilities.” That’s  not something I say to belittle or impugn those with more severe disabilities, or those who have greatly more difficult things with which they must deal. My simple point is that we all have our limitations. Some have far greater, some have comparatively few, but all have them.

I’m sure you’ve heard, too, of the world-renowned scientist, by name Stephen Hawking. I personally found Mr Hawking’s work to be questionable (more on a philosophical basis than a scientific one). Even so, I can’t imagine anybody counting Mr Hawking to have been anything but an amazing individual. And part of what makes this true, was his flat refusal to allow his “disabilities” to keep him from accomplishing a good many ends and purposes.

Do I at all assume that Mr (doctor?) Hawking’s road was at all easy? Do I think it likely I could have travelled that road with the same skill and ultimate finesse? The answer to both questions is an assured, “No.”

I’ve told you about just three “disabled” folks, but I’ve know a good many more who “made hay while the sun shone.” Some had horribly short and very difficult lives, some less difficult, some longer.

In the end though, the real question is, “Why was it that these folks accomplished so much, despite sometimes absolutely overwhelming difficulties?”

I submit that the answer was and is, “Motivation!” You see, when people decide they will accomplish even things that for them are very difficult, they may not always succeed, but when even comparatively able people don’t try, the chances are good they pretty much never do.

I further argue that we pretty much all possess disabilities, and that, even if we don’t start life with them, we come to “suffer them” along the course of our time on the planet.

When we become disabled—permanently or temporarily—we have a choice as to what we will do about it.

When you find life difficult, you can lay down and wait to die, or you can get up and act.

Remember too, even a person who lives a very long life is likely to be on this Earth for somewhere in the near vicinity of a hundred years. Of that time, the first twenty or more years, tends to be used “learning life.” Some people “get away with” less, some need a good deal more. 

For many, the last ten or more years are spent being cared  for by others.

This means that even out of a long life of around a hundred years, a likely bare minimum of thirty of those years will be spent somewhat unproductively.

You may think seventy years to accomplish your aims is a long time, be sure, by the time you’re over fifty, you’re likely to reconsider.

Final point? Life and time are precious commodities, for both, you get what you get and no more. “Able bodied” or not, I suggest you use your time to the best of your ability, counting each moment precious and  realizing when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Okay, here we are again, time to conclude this. May you have the best of times, and thanks for reading.

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