Saturday, October 17, 2009

The power of positive thinking

I know I have already written a post for this month but I thought both of these stories were blog worthy

I was lying in bed with a really bad cough wishing that I was at my parent’s house because for some reason they seem to have better immune systems.  When I thought ok there’s nothing I can do about it.  So how can I think positively?  It was then that I thought about Lester Pritchard a man who was a disability advocate who spent his entire life thinking positively and working to better the lives of people with disabilities.  I only wish I had the opportunity to meet this amazing person.  As a tribute to him here is a little bit of information about who he was.,0,3668892.story

As most of you know besides living on my own, going to school, and getting an education is very important to me.  All throughout my time at Oakton just like Lester, I have had to advocate for my needs as I have said before in this blog.  Since I am graduating in May I knew I had to plan ahead.  Now you might be wondering Jess why now it’s only October?  When you have a disability you have to plan ahead even for my graduation because in order for me to stand up in the ceremony the way I want to, they need to order a special ramp and reconfigure the seating in a different way.  From prior experience with this particular person I was expecting her to be negative and even though I didn’t get everything I wanted I still got about 90% and that was only because of safety. 

I was really impressed at the detailed notes she took of our conversation and how much she seemed to care about my situation.  I was excited and giddy.  I left the woman’s office with a huge smile on my face.  I think I not only made myself happy but taught her a lot as well! 

Lots of love



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

 There are only a few places where I feel completely accepted these are camp, my dance workshops both here and in California and most recently my trip to Israel.  Why am I telling you this?  The other day I was at a party and about to judge someone because they were petting me like a dog and talking to me in classic baby talk.  I almost said something but then I thought I get judged all of the time and is it really worth it?  Then I was sitting at Yom Kippur service a few days later and having a good time, when all of the sudden our older rabbi walked up to the pulpit.  I was thinking o no why am I here.  I wish I was back at my apartment because when he speaks he goes on forever.  But then I thought come on Jess give him a chance.  It’s the New Year!    Everyone knows the saying don't judge a book by its cover. Do you like to be judged?  So I did what my conscious told me and gave him another chance.  As it turned out it was pretty good.  Now I am not saying that I will never judge a person again or by telling you these stories I will never get judged again because I know that unfortunately when you have a disability it comes with the territory.  But I think that becoming conciously aware of when you are about to judge someone can only help you. 

So in honor of Yom Kippur or the Jewish judgment day, just ask yourself would I want to be treated that way and do I want to feel completely accepted where ever I go and what ever I do?  That’s what I want don’t you?