Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Abilities and Disabilities

In the winter it is a common thing to hear about how each snow flake is different.  It is amazing, practically unbelievable to imagine that every snowflake is unique and in some way different from every other snowflake.  Particularly amazing when our naked eye, most often, cannot see the difference. 
Then to think of people and how we each vary from one another in multiple ways--it is mind boggling.  We have multiple different skin colors, hair syles, eye colors and shapes, heights and weights, and ways of dressing just to mention a few easily noticable distinctive characteristics.  Then to overlay the variety of talents and abilities that people have adds additional layers of diversity.  So many abilities! Many of them so subtle that people often don't even know they have them or that they are distinctive from other people. 

I have talked to a number of folks who have one of those subtle, not easily noticed, abilities.  To be honest I think most if not all people have these inconspicuous talents.  They are often amazed when I point them out and even more amazed when they realize the uniqueness that they harbor.  It helps them to see the world with more clarity when they begin to see their own uniqueness and realize that each of us is exceptional and irreplaceble. 

When we think about talents and abilities we often think of the more glaring and visible ones.  I once talked with a young lady who had multiple spectacular abilities and skills.  She yearned for people to see past those to her other qualities that she considered more fundamental in making up her person.  Singing, art, comedy, instrument playing, and athletic abilities are just a few of the abilities that are more easily noticed.  Even if you take one category of abilities, for example athletic, there is a huge variance in a single talent.  Even if you take a sub-category of that ability, for example basketball playing ability there is a great variety (think of why we have dunking contests and can differentiate between dunks enough to chose a winner). 

When you consider another talent, like empathy, and consider some of the variations of that talent from one who can feel another's pain to one who can anticipate another's need.
Ultimately I must conclude that everyone has multiple abilities and everyone nust have multiple disabilities as well.  I was reading an article by Orson Scott card that you can access by clicking on this line.  It said:  "Our bodies come with a mix of abilities and disabilities. What God cares about is not what we're born with, but how we use whatever talents we've been given."

To use our talents and develope them there must be a time of discovery and then a time of growth and maturity.  Finally a time for using the talent as God intended.  And then in the process of using it we can advance the talent and magnify it.  When we consider all the desirable abilities and talents in the world it is crucial that we recognize our own and learn to use it for God's intent. 

As we develope our abilities we then have a strong foundation for overcoming, minimizing or managing our disabilities.  Though all disabilities will not be overcome in this life, by recognizing and tapping into the fruits of our strentghs (i.e. confidence, discipline, and determination that result from our recognizing and using our strengths for good) we can overcome or at least accept our inabilities.  Some disabilities may actually not be fixed while others may be incapabilities.

It is possible that as Neal Maxwell hints at that our greatest ability to God may be our availability and our greatest disability our inavailability.  "God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability."
Neal A. Maxwell

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

1 comment:

  1. it is so cool that as a part of being a human we have the ability to change and to truly make weak things become strong. it's hard when you come across a person who thinks they can't change something about themselves - they just don't believe it is possible. that would be pretty depressing if it were true! i think the ability to change is one of the greatest gifts that Heavenly Father has given us! and, like it talks about in Ether, the gift of helping us overcome our disabilities is a pretty amazing one as well! :)


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