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Every human being is born with some incapacity; we all come up short in some way: it is a fact of life. There are some who are visibly disabled physically or mentally, and these persons generate sympathy from those who see them. Other people have handicaps that are not immediately obvious, but are rooted in their heart and how they perceive the world and themselves.

It may range from seemingly dismissible things like a lisp, a stutter, a fear, or an embarrassing biological condition to potentially critical conditions like autism or epileptic fits. To those who don’t have it, dyslexia, for example, may seem like a weird thing but to many, it is a real problem. These are real problems, but a famous quote says, “The worst thing is to be born sighted but to lack vision.” That is by Helen Keller.

Helen was born deaf and blind but went on to become the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. Having no way to perceive anything that she can’t touch, she overcame her disability and proved that the problem is not our physical condition but the state of our heart. Compared to Helen, people like Tom Cruise who struggled with dyslexia in school but became a Hollywood icon, or any of the many blind performers including Stevie Wonder had it easy.

Nick Vujicic, was born with no arms or legs yet despite the obvious physical challenge of moving around and performing day-to-day tasks, he leads a happy life. He has also inspired many students who do have arms and legs. How is this possible? The real problem is our heart. When we accept our condition as a disability, our heart shifts into that mode, and we live a crippled life. Disabled heart, leads to a disabled life.

Of course, none of these people could do it alone. Helen’s teacher was Anne Sullivan, and her most celebrated work was to repair Helen’s heart; she would not allow her to accept that she was flawed. It is easy just to lay down and believe this is the only way for us. When we compare ourselves to others, even if we fixed every flaw we have now, we will still find others. Michael Jackson reportedly had a real problem with vitiligo but correcting that led to a continual series of surgeries.

The road to recovery begins with accepting that in spite of our “defect,” we are okay. Everybody has a defect; this is ours. The only thing that limits us is our heart; a crippled heart produces a crippled life. Ostriches can complain about their weird small wings, but they run extremely fast. Eagles can soar above the earth, have amazing eyesight but ugly skinny legs. Elephants can bemoan how they are obese, slow and “cursed” with a strange long nose but they are powerful and have excellent memories.

Our heart needs to be revived, for too long we have just accepted that we are “flawed” in one way or the other and lived accordingly. Hearts have wings. There is no limit to where they can soar; set your heart free, and you can be whoever you imagine.

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