Monday, February 4, 2013

Not your mission

Friends often see me get involved in disability causes. And often it's something they choose to stand behind. They see there's a need to help, they feel they want to make a difference and sometimes they recognize there are things they can do. Often- it happens through my story- they have witnessed or heard about my struggles getting back to law school, landing my green card or how much my sacrificed carrying me to school every day. Sometimes they see an inaccessible building or a block off ramp and it gets them upset because they imagine you there. There's plenty of things to change in the world. Disability issues is just one thing. I admire passion and if I can put fire under you to get you to care about something- then great But I also think it may not be for everyone. You don't have to care about something just because I do and you care about me. You don't have to dive in, just because I'm in it for the long run. My perspective is different. While in no way I'm saying this is calling or that I have been chosen for this, it is my life. My perspective is different not only  because it affects me, but also I understand it better. So many friends I have seen who got involved on a number of my disability project and then fallen off. They ended up feeling guilty because they couldn't give it their all. And I say, every little helps. And sometimes being aware and having the right kind of perspective is good enough. Don't feel bad you are not as involved as I am, but in a way I'm stuck in this. I will always be involved in the issues of disability in one way or another I will try to make it work. Consider my friend Josh. I've written about him before as the person who had the most influence on my life in America. He was the one who organized rallies on campus when the law school didn't want to take me back. It was through his connections that we uncover the big underlying issue of the Law School Admission Test administration refusing to accommodate students with disabilities at their discretion. He introduced me to James Klausner who gave my my first American job at his Cerebral Palsy foundation. Through all the things that he saw me deal with Josh decided to law school to change the world and help the oppressed  For the longest time we were talking about practicing law together, building a model that will help and empower disabled students. And don't get me wrong, had we done this I believe with his passion and personality we would have been a great success. But a few months ago I told him: I don't think this is were your true passion lies. You really shouldn't do it for me or because you feel you owe me something. You have to find your own niche, the one thing that excites you the most. And I don't think it makes you a bad person if you can't change the world in every aspect and tackle all the things that are wrong. You can walk away from it easily. It's not that easy for me. I knew that he was trying to deal with too many many things at once, and he was staying on board out of an obligation he felt to me, but also because he is a genuinely considerate person. So he bowed out, but from what I'm hearing he's changing the world in some other ways. And I have new people standing behind me. Wouldn't be amazing to work with my good friend? Yes. But it would be much worse if I kept him from his mission in life. If he wasn't able to fully commit. People care about a lot of different things. Some care more about animals than other people. I have a friend who only donates to Cat Society and I think that's wonderful. I don't think one cause is more valid that another and true passion for whatever it is must always be admired and acknowledged. This is mine. Go find yours.

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