April 4, 2015

Top Examples of Different Capabilities

I have been thinking quite a bit about capability lately. Many of us tend to expect others to act and think as we do. However, that’s not always possible. Numerous people are dealing with illness, physical trauma, and mental challenges. Even if a particular person may seem to be completely healthy and happy, she may have hidden limitations. I address this topic in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds. The following is a direct quote:

Everyone Operates at Different Capacities

What is easy for some people is difficult for other people. For example, as a substitute teacher, I notice that some students may require a detailed explanation of certain concepts while other students may not. In my case, I needed patience from my supervisors, which some of them were unwilling and unable to give. They felt I didn’t learn certain crucial concepts as quickly as I could. However, in my mind, I was learning as fast as I could. 

George and Janet--They are both over eighty years old. She is reaping the harvest of a lifetime of wise lifestyle choices. Janet is active. She walks almost every day. She eats plenty of fresh food. She works almost full time. She drives, cooks, does her own shopping, and cleans and repairs her own condominium. She has only a few minor health concerns. On the other hand, George is reaping a harvest of a lifetime of unwise lifestyle choices. He has many ongoing major medical problems. He has always been sedentary and overindulged in unhealthy food. He is in and out of the hospital often. He has had a myriad of major medical concerns since young adulthood. 

Obviously, George has less physical strength than Janet. This is a fact that must be accepted. Yelling at the man, expecting him to do more, would produce no positive results. It would be counterproductive, cruel, and ludicrous. It is beyond his capacity to be as productive as Janet.

Cedric--He’s been a sports and outdoors enthusiast for his whole life. He has expected his family to follow his lead, as well. For decades, he and his active family have participated in almost every sport. When this man coordinates family reunions, the activities center solely on outdoor sports like skiing and white-water rafting. That isn’t good news for family members who are elderly, unfit, have debilitating medical conditions, or are uninterested in sports. Obviously, my friend thinks only of his own desires when he plans family reunions. He doesn’t take into consideration varying ages, interests, or aptitudes.

We must all accept the fact that everyone has different capabilities, and that’s what makes the world go around. No amount of yelling is going to turn the Helen Kellers into Navy fighter pilots, or the Einsteins into sports prodigies. We are what we are, and we should embrace that fact. Each of us is capable of contributing, in our own way, to the society in which we live. Any society would be diminished without people who are able to contribute a wide variety of interests, knowledge, and skills. Nobody should be sidelined because they don’t appear to have all the most sought-after skills. (For that matter, who has the right to determine what the most sought-after skills should be?) The bottom line is that one never knows what a person has to offer, if that person is given the freedom to live in line with their own truth and capabilities.

My Conclusion

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