I am disabled

I have feared it for a long time. I am disabled and sooner or later somebody was going to notice. Maybe you have already noticed. Maybe you are noticing right now. So, it’s  OK, I have to admit that my disability is that I am not a native speaker of the English language.

So what?

So many of the daily bits of life you are so familiar with are alien to me. My opportunities to practice the language will always be more limited and often need special dedication. It’s obvious: I just cannot be as good as a native.

That is exactly the situation of people with disabilities; given the same effort and training there are some areas in which they just cannot be as good as other people without that disability.

So why do I write in English?

Because I like it. I was prepared to give reasons to show it is not for money or fame, but boy, that’s evident enough. I love writing in Spanish too, and often I write the same article or story on both languages. Sometimes I do the first version in English, sometimes Spanish take the lead. And I never translate myself; rather I re-write. It’s more fun that’s why.

Should I stop?

A person who uses a wheelchair has little choice but to live. Nazis may disagree, but I’m glad when Nazis disagree with me. But, me? I could choose not to write in English. Spanish is a well-known enough language, prevalent in many nations around the world. So, am I wasting my time?

No way. Should a boy not be a carpenter only because there are better carpenters? Should a girl stop playing football only because there are better players? There were better poets than the one who composed the American anthem (or the French one ), but they did have a moment of splendor. Didn’t they?

If you need glasses, wear them.

I can’t be as good in English as most of my readers, but I have my wheelchairs. There’s something cool called the dictionary; and something cooler called the internet. There are also spell checkers, which detect most of my mistakes. There are even scripts that will determine the readability of your text. (By the way the Flesh Kinkaid score of this post is 4.6).

I am so old I can only preside Mass

Those words were from a priest I lived with. My reply? “Don Whoever he was, I am older because  I can’t even preside Mass”.  We all have different capabilities, so let’s concentrate on what we can do and be happy.

Please,

If you have a dream, follow it. If your children have a dream, encourage them. Just be realistic, if your boy is in a wheelchair he is not going to win the Olympics, but that’s why God gave us the para-Olympics. If you want to run, but you are just a normal person, run the best you can.

Nobody, not even yourself, has the right to demand anything more,

Kerry