When you have anxiety, stability is the key. Too much change, too quickly can send you into a tailspin. When Jay and I move to Mexico for the winter I notice that it always takes me at least a week to adjust to my new surroundings. But, even then, Mexico is far more anxiety inducing to me than Canada. Many factors contribute to this, but the biggest one is not speaking the language. I’ve been learning since our first trek here in 2012, but I find languages difficult. As ironic as it is seeing that I am an English major, ask any of my French teachers and they’ll corroborate my story. Math, science, history, no problem, but ask me to speak in a foreign language I seize up. I suspect it comes from my desire to do everything perfectly. I tend to learn on my own and only show others once I’ve mastered it. I hate looking “stupid” in front of others. Which poses a problem when learning languages, since the best way to learn them is to speak it with natives and practice, practice, practice! But I’m tired of not being able to be myself in Mexico so this year I’m going to change some things.
The news is filled with horrible stories and negative attitudes and sometimes it’s hard to stay positive. But then, every once and a while, a story comes along that restores your faith in humanity and warms your heart.
Anthony Smith of Salem, N.H. is hearing impaired due to a chromosomal disorder. He has no right ear, partial hearing in his left, and wears a blue hearing aid. One day Anthony, a huge superhero fan, decided he was no longer going to wear his aid because “superheros don’t wear blue ears.” His mother emailed Marvel Comics in New York City and they responded! Not only did they send him a picture of Hawkeye from the 80s (when he lost most of his hearing and wore hearing aids), but they created a character just for him called “The Blue Ear.” The new superhero is based on Anthony and says: “thanks to my listening device I hear someone in trouble!”
Always remember to cherish the good in the world and spread the joy!
It’s human nature to want to avoid things we don’t want to do or to make up excuses for why we failed. Everyone does it, but people with disabilities have an obvious cop-out just sitting there waiting to be used. It would be so easy to blame everything on one’s disability. Perhaps it’s because there is still a lot of misinformation and stigma surrounding disability, or maybe it’s because those without disabilities just feel awkward talking about it, but it’s certainly easy to get away with playing the disability card.
Racism, like sexism, ageism, or really any -ism, is somewhat of a hot button topic for me. But, probably not in the way you are thinking. I realize that discrimination and prejudice happen all over the world, and even in our own neighbourhoods, but I do not think that the way we perceive or handle it (at least in North America) is beneficial or productive.
I find that many people tend to have verbal diarrhea when it comes to terms like racism and discrimination. Calling someone a racist does not automatically make you “win.” Screaming discrimination does not automatically entitle you to whatever you want. Sometimes, probably usually, race or culture or sex or religion has nothing to do with it. Now I realize that there are some instances when it’s clear that there is a bigger, underlying problem (such as Ferguson) and I’m not talking about countries/areas that have obvious concerns (like the middle east), but in most circumstances we need to take a step back and reflect.