At my Toastmaster's meeting, an older gentlemen caught my eye in the most innocent and kind way. He was wearing a blue shirt, khaki colored slacks, and suspenders. He always had someone sitting next to him to help him get up to the podium and back to his seat. When he spoke, his intellect shined right through his voice and he spoke clearly and confidently. His eyes were distant from the audience yet oh so clear. He just had such a presence this man with his kind nature and very eloquent when speaking.
When he sat there, I just kept staring to the front as he would make comments on the club roles or functioning. When we had a "cookie and milk" break-no we are Toastmasters we have cookies and juice. Another Madam Toastmaster spoke highly of his accomplishments and humbly he did not say much, but I told him he had the aura of a great speaker-and yes he did...yes he did.
What struck me was how content this man was with his condition. He reminded me of a handful of cases abroad with the blind. It connects with my post about miracles and how sometimes we are given challenges that bring us closer to our strengths and capabilities. From my eye, this man appeared to be an example of that person.
After the meeting, it was confirmed that he was one of those people and he did not just have a story, but an incredible story. Both his parents are also blind, he takes after his ambitious father who is an architect and business man working off his gifted eye for design. He has a movie called, "What Love Sees," which was a television movie that came out in 1996.
Below is a summary from IMDB:
Based on a true story, spanning fifteen years during the turmoil of the Second World War, this is an incredible and inspiring saga of two young people whose very special relationship helps them fulfil each other's dreams. Jean Treadway, a beautiful young girl in her twenties, comes from a world of wealth and privilege. Gordon Holly is a handsome but humble rancher, the pride of his small town and honest to a fault. But they share something which makes the love that blossoms between them all the more pure and intense, they are both totally blind. Against all the odds they marry and head out West to Gordon's ranch. There, side by side, they build a future which includes responsibility and independence.
Within his career, he has been a Radio Founder, Interviewer, Producer, a teacher, a musician, an engineer, and more. He can read and write in Braille and has a Speakers Technology computer.
Many people don't understand my deep connection with people. They just think that I like to do "nice things" for people. It is the depth of the ocean and beyond-my love for people. This man is an example of my true theories and beliefs on people living their life to their maximum potential. A disability is not something to hope that a miracle comes along to save them rather it is a platform to rise and utilize the other beautiful senses that God has given.
Like Beethoven and perhaps like this man, sound... What is gone appears in other senses. This is what is fascinating how one is taken away, but another is enhanced. This is definitely the case with this lovely man who doesn't spend time complaining about his disability rather he decided to accept it a long time ago and live life at his best like the rest of the world around him. When a man has so many strengths, his disability is not focused on in fact I don't even like using the word "disability" as I believe it's a challenge, a blessing, a new perspective, and the ability to be thankful for what you do have....
Thankfully, I have sometime to get to know him on a more personal level as I will see him when I get back from my trip:)
For now, Thanks for setting an example to those who have challenges and feel that life is over. It's just the beginning and God doesn't give us something that we can't handle-in all true belief.