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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Don't Have The Strength Part 2

I Don't Have The Strength Part 2

My last blog was in support of a cancer curing doctor.  Today, I'm going to criticize doctors that perpetuate the cancer of negativity.  

Wait, stop.  

That's not fair of me to single out doctors.  This message is going to be sent to a much larger audience, everybody.

A few weeks ago we watched a Hallmark TV movie called, A Smile As Big As The Moon.  It dramatically tells the story of a Special Needs classroom that has the want and desire to go to Space Camp.

The story takes places in 1989.  When I say Special Needs classroom I'm referring to high school aged students with mental challenges ranging from anger management, ADD, ADHD, OCD, Tourettes Syndrome to kids with Downs Syndrome.  These kids are kept together in a classroom away from the general school population.  And when I say Space Camp, I mean the place where very smart kids go to pretend to be real astronauts, with as real as it gets space shuttle simulators.  

In 1989 the teacher of the "special" students, Michael Kersjes, has an idea to take his class to Space Camp.  The directors of Space Camp had never had any "special" students come through their program.  Only at the persistence of Kersjes did Space Camp allow the project to move forward.  Kersjes, unfortunately, had little to no support from his own school.  Not to spoil the ending, but things end beautifully and a new door of opportunities opens for students with special needs at Space Camp.

This story took place in 1989 just five years after I graduated from high school.  I saw first hand how some kids got pushed aside because they don't appear to be somebody that might excel in the "real world".  I was lucky.  I had parents who expected nothing less from me or for me.  I had teachers who saw I could achieve.  Some of these same teachers I would get in trouble with defending the rights of other "special" students to be given a chance.  Sometimes I'd win, sometimes I didn't, at least a voice was being raised.

Unfortunately, 23 years later there still exists the mindset that "special" people can't achieve beyond a very low bar of expectations.

Case in point, Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham.  Born with Spina Bifida.  His doctors painted a grim lifelong existence of being forever dependent on his parents.

His parents decided to let him be a boy.  Watch how dependent he is now.

I remember a visitor we had in grade school once.  The man was in wheelchair, but he could drive a car.  My brain opened up wide that day with possibilities.  Some 18 years later I did finally get approved to drive a modified van.

My point.  Don't sell people short on life.  Though I highlighted the "special" people of the world this philosophy can relate to anyone.  Keep all your negativity to yourself.  I don't have the strength to deal with the dream squashers of the world.  If you never try, you'll never know what can be possible for you or others.

By the way, we are ALL "special".


Jerny said...

We are all special! I volunteered at a place called handy camp when I was in 5th or 6th grade. Never did it occur to me that these kids were limited. They were smart, loving and really funny. Thanks Mark, I will share this!

PeaKay40 said...

Amazing.........As for All of us being special.....i'm not so sure about me but YOU .....You're SPECIAL in every way I can think of.

Sharon said...

Great video, Mark! I will share this in my work. I also think I'll adopt the way he says "on" a wheelchair instead of "in" a wheelchair -- I would say that about crutches, a walker, etc. and it makes sense. Take care!

Mark Ploch said...

Keep it going people. We are the pollinators of change.