When I was in India recently I saw several signs proclaiming that the disabled are ‘differently abled’.
Back in the USA I witnessed first hand an inspiring example of this. It happened at a concert for kids.
I went there because it was free but got far more than I bargained. A life lesson where I was expecting a performance for kids.
Tony DeBlois was in town to give a musical performance for kids. It was a Saturday afternoon with nothing planned for the kids. So I took the brood to the show. Tony is a 36 year old man who plays more than 20 musical instruments. He first started playing with a musical instrument when he was 2 years old! He is famous internationally and has now been invited to perform at the 2012 London Olympics.
When you encounter a person with such impressive achievements you tend to get inspired especially when he still appears so enthusiastic and down to earth.
But there is more…Tony is blind… and autistic.
He was diagnosed with blindness when he was 6 months old.
Because of his blindness there were several basic skills that we take for granted which he could not learn until 26. He still can’t tie his shoe laces. But as his mom explained that is why they invented slipons!
His mom was the obvious inspiration behind him. His driving force. She is equally worthy of inspiration. She was not daunted by insinuations of charity when she was told that an award Tony received while a kid was due to his blindness. She was not daunted by objections. She shared that if someone says no then go up to the person at the next level. Keep going up until you run out of people or till someone says yes. Another great lesson she shared was how to be resourceful when encountering problems. She encouraged her son to use the hand movements learned form the musical instruments to comb his hair himself etc.
Her tip if you want to learn something, use what you already know to accelerate your learning experience.
For Tony there are no road blocks. His favorite phrase is ‘I have not learnt that yet’.
Way to go Tony. Keep inspiring us.
For more inspiring stories please check out my collection of true stories of inspiration.
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