As some of you have probably figured out by now, to me parenting and "disability" issues are irrevocably intertwined. As I see it, that's how it should be for me and my family and I hope my predilections at the very least raises awareness and/or interest in individuals with special needs for those of you not deeply embedded in the strange world some of us wade through on a daily basis. That being said, sometimes what I have to share is more heartening than others. This, thankfully, is one of those times.
Now, I'm not a newshound nor am I a journalist. I'm a person who enjoys stories and as such, likes to share the good ones I find.
In today's paper, the Wisconsin State Journal had one of those heart-warming stories that makes the news bearable. And, I'd like to share it with you. It's a small segment of the story of a young man named Brian Sanders.
Madison native Brian Sanders turned a disability - only two fingers on his right hand - into his greatest ability, playing the cello.
"Many of my teachers have said this: It's almost as if this hand is made very well for cello playing," said Sanders, 22. "Part of it is that it's just a very simple system. Most people have five fingers to deal with; I have just two. So there's fewer factors to analyze, I guess."
Sanders will graduate in May with a degree in music performance from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Later that month, he will perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as one of four $5,000 winners of the national Young Soloists Award from VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts), a national organization promoting artists with disabilities.
Not only is Brian Sanders a remarkable young man with obvious talent, a talent that would be well-recognized whether he had a disability or not, but he also has an inspirational message to share with us all.
Years after Sanders started playing the cello, his parents confided "that they assumed I would pick it up for a couple weeks, realize I couldn't do it, and do something else," he said. "Of course they never said that; they were always really encouraging.
"I just wonder if some less introspective parents might discourage their children from that sort of thing," he said. "When who knows - they might find themselves naturally predisposed to it. It makes me wonder: With any sort of disability, what sort of advantages might lie within."
--second set of emphasis added
And, that's the message I would like to share with you all!