Disability: a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movement, senses, or activities. Am I different? Yes, I am very different, compared to various others my difference is more obvious. Although, does that mean I have a disability?
The term disability has never been something I refer myself to. I may have one arm and some tasks may be more challenging than others, but there is nothing I cannot do or achieve. As a child, I never heard this word used in my house. When I was asked, “What happened to your arm?” I simply said I was born this way, or God decided to create me with one arm instead of two. Not, I have a disability. I believe we are all created differently, we all have flaws and imperfections, differences. No one is perfect. Having one arm for me is no different than someone having blonde hair and someone having brown hair. When asked on job applications if I have a disability I leave it blank because I do not. I can remember when I applied for a job and it specifically asked me if I had a missing limb I was astounded that it would even ask that. Does it truly matter? No, there is nothing that I cannot do.
I am not a disability. I believe in today’s society we often judge people based on this. We automatically assume different perspectives. For example, if I stop to tie my shoe, someone nearby will always ask, “Do you need help with that?”’ I carry my books in the school hallway and someone may ask, “Do you need help, are you sure you can carry that?” I thank those who ask but instead of assuming the person cannot handle the task; we need to believe in a person’s ability to take on the task. We need to take a stance and empower others, instead of bringing them down. Often people with differences are seen as an outcast, we are described as “them”, but everyone is different; so why do we feel the need to separate those who are perceived as “different”? We all have something in our life that is challenging. Something that is challenging for us to achieve and takes dedication, time, and practice. By separating us, we are telling each other to keep our differences to ourselves, to be ashamed of them. STOP! No one should be afraid to show who they are. We need to learn to be proud of our differences, love ourselves, but most importantly love others as well.
As a society, we need to educate children at a young age of the differences in people. One day they will recognize someone similar to me and wonder what happened, or they also might be afraid of me and think something is terribly wrong. We are teaching our children not to ask someone who is different what happened because we think they might be offended… Guess what?!? We WON’T be offended at all. In my own experience I have had various children in public places say, “Mommy look at her arm, why does she look like that?” this is not offensive in any shape or form to myself. Children are curious, but parents often tell their child to walk away, or apologize to me. I do not want an apology. I would be more than happy to educate your child on why I am different, and let them know that it is no big deal. Do not be afraid to ask someone what happened, I encourage you next time you notice someone to ask instead of stare if you are curious. We would love to chat with you! Everyone does tasks differently, everyone is unique in their own ways. If no one was different this world would be extremely boring.
Why I don’t have a disability?
I am not defined by my difference. I do not have a disability. Although, I do have an ability. I have an ability to educate others about my difference, I have an ability to achieve things differently than others. It may have taken me sixteen years to learn how to put my hair in a ponytail, seventeen years to learn how to properly do a push-up, pull-up, and jump rope. But I achieved these tasks. I may never learn how to do the monkey bars, but I know that I will continue to try to. I have the ability to love my little arm, to love myself just as I am. I have the ability to be me. You have this ability too! If there is a will in yourself I promise you will find a way. No matter the task or the situation, you CAN do anything you set your mind to. Next time you spot someone who is “different” ask them to share their story, trust me so much can come out of it. Also, remember to not automatically assume they can’t do something, if they need help they will ask. Keep encouraging and educating being different. Embrace your differences and LOVE BEING IMPERRFEECTLY YOU.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."