“Would you be willing to live your life with a disability?” So asks Mia Ives-Rublee, a disabled individual, in a rather touching article in North Carolina’s News & Observer entitled “Living, Bolding, With a Disability.”
Reading it, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the Ms. Ives-Rublee's beliefs and the driving force behind our work at Aunt Laurie’s. In fact, her first sentence encapsulates our mission (to inspire others to acknowledge the human value in everyone) almost to a tee: “Life with a disability is worth living.”
She goes on to write, “I don’t mean living as just passively breathing, eating and sleeping. I mean living with passion and purpose.”
All too often we are too quick to assume that individuals with disabilities are incapable of living meaningful lives with “passion and purpose.” As Ms. Ives-Rublee expresses, “It remains unfortunate that there is a pervasive belief that having a disability is a half-life.”
But, as she proves with her writing and life experiences, such individuals are not only capable of living fully and boldly, but can even inspire others along the way.
I, myself, have been inspired through my interactions with the disabled individuals who make our handmade gift baskets and many of the products in them. These individuals are challenging themselves, adapting to different environments, learning new skills and contributing to society each day – just like the rest of us. After all, we – Aunt Laurie’s – wouldn’t exist without them.
The truth of the matter is that these individuals are just as valuable as anyone else – if only we give them the chance to show that value.
While Ms. Ives-Rublee’s piece is a beautifully written reflection best read in its entirety, I can’t help but share a few of my favorite lines that embody her message:
- “Living with a disability can cultivate internal benefits that relate to character.”
- “Adversity can nurture positive character traits such as creativity and perseverance. Talk to any person with a physical disability and you will find out the numerous ways they use creativity to adapt and remain independent.”
- “The benefits and experiences you get while living with a disability make life worth living.”
- “To me, living boldly means experiencing life’s ups and downs and pursuing my ambitions and passions.”
With wise words such as these, how could anyone question the value and worth of disabled individuals?
See our unique gift baskets made by individuals with disabilities, in addition to some of our bestselling, handmade products made by disabled people.