It’s hard to walk when you are lopsided. When I was recovering from my strokes, I used a cane to help the weaker left side of my body keep me upright.
One of my first acts of healing art was to decorate my cane. I’ve always had “terminal match” so I varied the colors to suit what I was wearing. Aside from the art effect, my hands got a workout and the art made the cane more visible.
Even so, people in a hurry often tripped over my cane or occasionally tripped me when they bumped it causing a full face plant for one or both of us. Luckily a kind passer by usually helped me get back up before I got walked on.
My decorated canes were also a good talking point.
People who used a cane were curious and would ask where I got mine.
For some reason, non-cane users made assumptions and often talked LOUDER and m-o-r-e s-lo-w-l-y to me. One day to make the point I had mobility problems which did not impair my hearing or intelligence, I held up the cane and laughed as I said “The handle contains a microphone.”
Having a disability helps you notice things you missed before.
Having a disability is no laughing matter but a sense of humor helps.
Having a disability often makes you an educator and advocate for others who are differently abled or facing challenges.
Watch this Ted Talk and you’ll see what I mean (and you’ll find out what a boxer and comedienne have in common.)
Maysoon Zayid worked for everything she dreamed and achieved. She laughs at and dispels myths about "limitations."
"I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time," Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it's hilarious.) "I'm like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali."
With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedienne takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.
Maysoon's stories contain inspiring lessons for all artists - regardless of abilities - about persistence and courage. At some point in our lives, we all need a helping hand.
Will you help me pay it forward by making a donation to CERF+?
Say yes and you'll create a triple win:
- Artists will benefit your generosity;
- CERF will send you a tax receipt;
- I'll send you a copy of a book in which I am a contributing author - "Courageous Stories of Inspiration" - at no charge and I'll also pay for shipping.
(I'll need your mailing address, so remember to check the box on the form next to "I am an ArtMatters! subscriber and am making this donation in response to their challenge. Please notify ArtMatters! of this gift.")
Read these related articles about other kinds of donations: