August 15, 2013

From Victim to Challenged

Alan F. 009

UCP is honored to have Sacramento resident Alan Flynn guest blogging in August and September. Alan has cerebral palsy and grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest, the middle child in a family of five boys. He has two adult daughters and a new grandson. Through his writing, he hopes to challenge himself and others to reach new goals in every aspect of our lives and gain self-understanding and enthusiasm for the opportunities waiting for us.

I remember that my mom used to explain to folks that I was a “victim” of cerebral palsy. To me, a victim is one who has been overpowered and hurt by someone or something stronger and pitiless. I’ve never felt victimized, and by no means am I at the mercy of some cruel force that is working against me. 

I’m simply challenged in certain ways. Aren’t we all?

The effects of CP have always been with me – so have my brown eyes, long skinny toes and a love for words and what can be done with them. Like all other folks, I am a uniquely individual blend of physical features, character traits, strong points and limitations.  

I challenge myself – and anyone else who wants to join me – to celebrate our strengths and work to strengthen our shortcomings. Let’s strive to be both thankful and realistic about who we are and what we can do. 

Difficult goals that aren’t always reached are infinitely preferable to shortcuts and excuses that make things too easy and don’t force us to stretch.

Often the real stretch is to occupy each day as positively contributing members of the community rather than as negative and generally discontented people

If we give it our all, how do you think we will do? 


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