Thursday, April 8, 2010

For My Young Friends

From my present-day babies to former student now in college, here are Ms. Kathy's answers to FAQ:

  • Your real friends already know you have low vision and they don't care. Be up front with them about what you can't see. They won't pity you. They will appreciate your honesty. Besides it's better than having them think you're crazy or stuck up 'cause you didn't wave back when they saw you on the other side of the cafeteria!
  • Never give a moron free rent in your head.  It keeps you awake at night for nothing and it gives more credence to a moron than he/she deserves.
  • There will be obstacles. Find ways-even if you have to shout "HELP!"-- to walk around them, jump over them, dive under them or plow through them. Just don't place them there yourself.
  • No. He/she is not worth it.
  • You will not know where your high school class ring is in five to ten years.
  • Yes, I made mistakes, too. So did the principal, your mom, your dad. We learned from them and moved on.
  • Being disciplined is not about being beat down because your mama caught you at something. It's doing what you're supposed to do and what you need to do when your mama and your teachers aren't around.  Rabbi Abraham Herschel said: "Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself." Grenville Kleiser said: "By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character."
  • Yes, you should practice advocating for yourself. Tell your teachers, advisors, counselors, employers that you'd appreciate accommodations for your vision. If they don't consider your vision,  it's on them. If you don't let them know, it's on you. Be diplomatic about what you need to even the playing field but be consistent and persistent.
  • No matter what kind of family background,  neighborhood, school you came from ultimately your success or failure is your responsibility. Many people started with very little and did very well in life while others had everything and did nothing in life.
  • Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on where you are going and realize it's not an overnight trip.
  • Forgive. 
  • I can't do everything by myself. Neither can you.
  • Serve and allow yourself to be served.

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