Thursday, August 07, 2008

When we're young and challenged...

Tonight I listened to a group of teenagers talk about frustrations in their lives. The topic of the night was communication, which is quite broad. We started off by each naming (and in some cases demonstrating) a talent we posses. This very fit, attractive eighteen-year-old guy showed us how he can flex the muscles in his chest to make the letter "T". I couldn't take my eyes off his chest. Whoa.

Every person in the room including the facilitators had some kind of disability and it created some unity. There is something so empowering about sharing with people who actually live the same struggle as you every day. It's healing and rare. Imagine how awful life would be if we were all alone and struggling? To be understood is to be validated.

We discussed people who make unfair judgements because they don't know better. We debated whether it is better to be treated the same or different than others since we are different. This turned into a big, heated debate between two guys who clearly don't along and would use any excuse to rip each other apart. Luckily, their arguing was stopped. We agreed on how frustrating it is to have prove yourself every day in such small ways. We showed them that, even as grown adults, we still face the same pressure to prove and it doesn't change. I don't know if this was encouraging, but it's real. We could all relate to how isolating it feels to be excluded from social activities due to inaccessibility or ignorance.

After three nights with the group, I get the hunch that some don't see eye-to-eye and they aren't all friends. When fourteen teenagers are thrown together for three weeks, there is bound to be conflict. After tonight, maybe they realized that they have a little more in common than they thought. I will certainly remember watching the dude flex his chest muscles. I may be older, but I'm not blind...

- OCG

1 comment:

THE OBSERVER said...

LMAO You can look but don't touch hun.