Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fine Minds!

Click this link  http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/06/03/in-shift-supreme-retardation/19411/  to read how this important change in terminology only scratches the surface of identifying those who are of average or superior intelligence despite having a significant neurological impairment.  We are most frequently characterized as being "trapped " in our bodies.  For me, nothing could be further from the truth!  Since childhood, I have been physically active, despite having cerebral palsy.  Sledding, swinging, swimming and horseback riding.  It is my experience that this description of being "trapped" is the able-bodied projection of how he/she imagines one would feel in a similar circumstance.  However, with the status of a professional title and an authoritative position, this idea of feeling trapped is conveniently attached to the person who has a disability.

At age 29, I began to practice hatha yoga and meditation.  I also read Living wth the Himalayan Masters and other articles and books of Eastern philosophy and theology.  Also the autobiographies of Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, and Helen Keller are just a few lives that demonstrate how freedom or confinement can only be obtained through permission of one's mind and spirit.

In my  own tradition of Christianity, I've read the lives of ordinary people who found great freedom  in the strict discipline of prayer, fasting and regular service. Just as one's disability is not  chosen, neither are many of these lifestyles.  They depend on one's culture, history  sex and status in society in the period of history in which they live.  Language and terminology also play a significant role in whether one's feels trapped.

I am grateful for the fine minds that have articulated many paths to freedom that contradict the image of being trapped.

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