Good old Shakespeare! Considered one of the greatest writer/playwright’s of all time and I couldn’t agree more. This little beauty from Macbeth I believe is a powerful and meaningful quote. There are so many reasons why. I’ll focus on a couple of them.
Let’s talk about predicted outcomes. I am pointing fingers at pediatricians! Yes the ones who commonly tell parents of children with disabilities that their two year old will not thrive, achieve, succeed. Will not speak. Will never live independently. I have been on the receiving end of a speech like this. Was it helpful? No! Was it true? No! There is not one person alive who can predict the future of any two year old.
A child, born with a disability, still will thrive. Writing them off, or encouraging their parents to lower their expectations is both cruel and limiting. Last I knew a medical professional held no more power over our future than any real or false God. I am glad I am such an oppositional person as I walked out of that office 15 years ago and my thoughts were ‘fuck that’. Of course I didn’t know either but I certainly wasn’t going to let my child begin his life with me not having faith in him.
Fifteen years later. I have an almost independent young man, who is incredibly funny and charming and talks so much I fear one day he will run out of words. He is smart and kind. He has friends and a life he values.
A pediatrician most certainly should measure their words but also inform parents that there is no certainty and no way to truly know what their child will achieve. Having their parent believe in them and offer them every opportunity as their non-disabled siblings is vital. I have learned that the only limitations my child endures are from society. Not from unkindness but from fear or lack of knowledge.
I am a huge believer in second chances. Our youth, have grown up in a world with so much information available to them. While this is a great advantage, the world of social media means their lives are played out in a public arena. Social media is very unforgiving and I know having grown up without social media that this makes life very difficult. While I was a fairly level headed kid, I had my moments. None of it is documented. I certainly laugh about it when reminiscing with friends but there is no online record of me driving into a fence that was there my whole life. Or marrying too young. And divorcing too young. I did not have to have an Instagram worthy wardrobe, house or lifestyle.
Our youth, have far too much pressure and expectations placed on them. Their lives play out on social media at a time while their brain is still developing and they are figuring out who they are. Some make terrible mistakes, some never do. There are not enough jobs for them and most will never buy their own house. They will inherit a world that is in pretty bad shape. I remember some of the lads from my primary school days. They were larrikins and I am pretty sure the teachers thought they were headed for unseemly lives. The ones I still know of, these larrikins, are successful. They are family men, who run businesses and some are community leaders.
Who are we to decide what seed will thrive and bloom and what seed will not? Well, who are we? We simply can’t and how dare we begin to think we can.