The Humble Within Us

By Mark E. Smith

I’m always surprised when I meet someone with a disability who comes across as seemingly brash, egotistical, and insensitive toward others. It simply contradicts what I know as disability experience, and I can’t fathom how anyone with disability assumes any sort of attitude of arrogance when disability is so intrinsically humbling?

I mean, sure, I recognize that disability doesn’t preclude any human condition, that one with a disability can prove just as inherently dysfunctional as another. However, again, how does one not become humbled by disability, at least on some level? That is, how does one live with disability and not realize how grounded all of us truly our in our lives?

Disability experience has taught me that as successful as any of us become, we are still intrinsically human, with real struggles and challenges, no matter who we are. Every morning, when I go through my routine to get up and out the door for work, it’s an uphill battle due to cerebral palsy, where some mornings, I feel like the process of getting myself from my bed to the shower to the breakfast table is a try-till-you-die, 5 am morning drill for the Marines.

However, there’s an affirmation to it all. I am reminded every morning that, as a man, I have limitations, that perfection and idealism will never be in my grasp – and, it’s alright. I am reminded how extremely fortunate I am to have physical abilities to at least some extent, and what a remarkable gift it is to have people in my life like my wife to turn to when I need assistance with even the simplest task like buttoning my shirt. And, I’m reminded that, as human beings, none of us are perfect, that we all face challenges, that we all need assistance at times, and that there’s tremendous value in recognizing the commonality among us.

In this way, disability gives us the gift of being humble, of appreciating the limitations that we all have, of valuing the challenges that we each face, and of how we should embrace the graciousness of others who care. Indeed, it’s tough to be arrogant when life with disability proves so wonderfully humbling.


Author: Mark E. Smith

The literary side of the WheelchairJunkie

2 thoughts on “The Humble Within Us”

  1. When I consider how anyone obtains perspective or has an epiphany from their higher mind, I realize its a rare and beautiful thing. It’s amazing how much emotional and spiritual struggling I have had to endure in order to have a shred of awareness of where I stand space and time. It overwhelms me how many souls have lived and died and that nothing I go through is ever unique to my life. Every bit of sadness or struggle has all been done before and will continue to be done into infinity. And the meaning of it all is constantly changing for me. Some days I think that means we are all just frail beings with no power over the universe, our bodies set to die the minute we are born, with nothing to look forward to and no point to our existence. Other days I think we are miracles wrapped in a spirit that will live forever and when this life ends, we just open the door to another. I want to believe it’s true and that we never leave the ones we love and that we all continue on together. But on the other hand, I can’t picture how I’d want a neverending story that is made up of a world like this.

  2. Wow, Bravo!!! Both of you… I wish there was some way to tie everyone’s words into a single “never ending” story. Wouldn’t that be awesome! To fill a book with everything!!! But, still be interesting… and an easy read, of course. :o)

    To glimpse the bigger picture of God!!! Come back to Earth, Brett. Remain humble… no one could write a book like that? Yeah, I suppose that book would contain all the secrets of LIFE.

    Frankly, it seems like GOD must still be writing His book. Or, is He? It must be awesome to be GOD!!!!!!! Being human is A REAL DRAG sometimes. Except maybe when ya get to talk about GOD with cool people. Ya know, I often think God is the person I’m talking to, but neither of us really know that the other person is GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! :oP

    Wouldn’t that be a cool concept for a book? It’s like this morning when I looked at my alarm clock. Whenever I’m not thinking about it, but may be contemplating dark things… I MAY CATCH A GLIMPSE of my clock… or some othher number device… well, this morning it said 8:33am or some other… always the 33 though. Earlier, I WOKE UP… 3:33am. This has been going on for years! It’s like one of God’s card tricks with me. Always 33!!! Or, sometimes the numbers will add up to 33. I’m really not looking for it… but people will say that I AM. It’s just God. Of course, Jesus died at 33, so it’s always just like a tap on the shoulder… don’t worry, Brett. I’m still with you. You’ve got a little more work to do.

    Oh well, I’d love to write a book one day, but Go’s will… not my own. Hey, the clock doesn’t say 33, but it adds up to 33 right now!!!


    Ya see!!! :o)

    I’m not nuts.

    The Child’s Appeal

    I am the Child.
    All the world waits for my coming.
    All the earth watches with interest to see what I shall become.
    Civilization hangs in the balance,
    for what I am, the world of tomorrow will be.

    I am the Child.
    I have come into your world, about which I know nothing.
    Why I came I know not;
    How I came I know not.
    I am curious; I am interested.

    I am the Child.
    You hold in your hand my destiny.
    You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.
    Give me, I pray you, those things that make for happiness.
    Train me, I beg you, that I may be a blessing to the world.

    – Mamie Gene Cole

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