What would you do if you didn’t have any friends at all? If you never knew anyone who loved you for who you were? If one day, you were placed in an institution because your family thought you were too much to handle and your life was in the hands of the state? What would you do??

What would you do if you were just born that way? And people labeled you all your life as mentally disabled or called you retarded in a ‘nice’ way. Even though a nice way of labeling a person just does not exist. What if you had to wait on someone to cook for you and clean your body? If you just could not do anything for yourself?

What if you saw the entire world moving and people succeeding but you were told you had to just sit there? What if all those dreams you had for yourself never became a reality because all the people around you were just dream-busters and every time you told someone your dream, they just said, yeah, yeah, yeah whatever and didn’t believe in you?  What if you had to have self-motivation to the point that even you had to convince yourself that you could become what you wanted to become?

What if you knew someone like this? Would you be the same?

I met an amazing gentle-man today. And when I say Amazing. I mean AMAZING.

He was institutionalized when he was very young. He was born a way not most of us are born. His family loved him but he was still put into a home at an early age. He had dreams. He had hopes. He had wishes. It’s just that, no one ever encouraged him or even believed him when he said he wanted to be a gospel promoter. They could only see his outward appearance. Not his heart. And he has a lot of heart.

Now, he is a gospel promoter and a motivation speaker. He motivated me greatly. He is a deacon at his church and is sought after by a lot of musicians. On top of that, he moved out of an institution, changed his agency, moved out of a group home and now lives alone.

He steers his own walker and detest when ‘normal’ folk look at him and ask him ‘Do you need Help?’ He understands their concern. But he’s been the one steering that walker for years and who could steer his specialized walker better than he can? He fell but have gotten back up and have more determination then most ‘normal’ people. As a matter of fact, he told me that words like disabled and mental retardation should NOT be used. He’s human. He just happen to walk with a walker!

‘I’ve met some of these normal people and they are the ones who need to be taken care of!’ He said. ‘Don’t baby us! We are not babies!’ Listen to our dreams and help us get there. Listen to one another dreams. A person tells you his dreams because he wants you to help him. It becomes your responsibility for you to help him.

One thing that I remembered him saying is ‘If you can Dream it, You can do it.’ And this goes for every human being. Not every normal human being. Every Human Being.

Inspired by Tony P.


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