This I Believe

Patricia - Jackson, WI 53037, Wisconsin
Entered on May 19, 2006

I Believe We All Have Something To Offer

I have been a special education teaching assistant for 6 years and I have learned a lot about people. The kids I work with are genuine. They are full of love and kindness, not cruelty and pretentiousness. They are who they are, and they aren’t even aware of how superficial our society is. These kids are real, not fake. They are not cookie-cutter conformists. I have seen students who are in wheelchairs and have little physical control over their bodies, yet they smile and say “I can do it” when confronted with challenges the rest of us don’t even have to think about. Their resilient attitude has affected me greatly. I used to be a person who took many of life’s gifts for granted. Now when I find myself complaining about unimportant things, I try to catch myself and be grateful for the many blessings I have. My job as a teaching assistant does not pay a lot, but I am rewarded with the gifts of humbleness and respect that I learn every day from my students. They may have low IQ’s and limited social skills and physical abilities, but they are valuable members of our society. They show me what it means to triumph over adversity. They remind me that no one is perfect, but we all have something to offer. We all have a unique personality and that means a lot. I believe acceptance of the diversity around us is crucial. Looking past what you see on the outside and understanding the human spirit underneath is a gift I’d like to share. Pass it on.