By Devon K., CIP Berkeley Alumni 2010
When I was told to make a speech I wasn’t sure what to say to a room full of people, all with some relationship to someone with a learning disability. Each of us, have a special someone in our hearts, be it our family, our friends, or even ourselves, who have had a lot to strive for.
One thing my father told me was that everybody has their own personal hurdle, a wall if you will, and you have to get over it. It may seem impassable. We can approach this wall with our bag of metaphorical belongings, look at that wall, and choose to go home where it’s safe and warm. Or we can take that bag, and throw it over the wall. Now we have motivation to get over the damn thing.
The best way to motivate yourself is to identify what you value. Find out what you want and go for it! But to do that we need to set a goal. We don’t always know what goal to make. Our goal might even be to not make any goals. But we all have something we’re trying to achieve.
Students, parents, and teachers: Take a look and ask yourself what you’ve accomplished in the past year. Make a list, and don’t sell yourself short. You’ve pulled off a lot despite your own personal barriers, and your goals should reflect that.
When my girlfriend won this award last year, she said in her speech it belongs to everybody. There isn’t much tangible value in this plaque. This award is simply the sum of one person’s goals and accomplishments. It isn’t that everybody deserves this award. The point is that everybody deserves their own individual award, dedicated to themselves.
So climb that wall. You may not find a piece of wood, and metal on the other side, but you’ll find something more important: A better, more experienced you that just took on another one of the world’s challenges.
So climb that wall. You’re the one who’s waiting on the other side.