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Archive for January 8th, 2016

Emmanuel's Dream cover

by Sam Juliano

Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles were born blind yet went on to become justly celebrated  writers and singers. (Charles was actually seven when he lost his eyesight).  Wilma Rudolph, born premature and sickly, developed polio almost immediately, necessitating leg braces, yet won three gold medals at the Olympics.  Perhaps the most famous “disabled” person was Helen Keller, who was born deaf and dumb, yet mastered braille to become a major author, lecturer and political activist.  Their triumphs were made possible by a dogged refusal to surrender to their limitations, and subsequently to achieve the level of success not attained by some of their peers who never had disabilities.  Yet they all benefited by societies that encouraged getting beyond their limitations, societies that offered money and support groups.  Hence it is unconscionable to perceive that in some places in the world it is seen as a curse on a family who give birth to a compromised child.  In Ghana in West Africa a boy named Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born in largely perfect order, save for one of his legs, which was limp.  The crushed father left the family never to return, but the mother was driven by her faith and named her child Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”

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