A Giving of Thanks

Last week I was away for a Thanksgiving weekend with my family, and in trying to come up with a topic for this week's blog, it hit me that I should give thanks to my disability for so many reasons. So, without further ado…

I give thanks to my disability for the creativity that it has given me. The fact is I'm creative because I live in a world where I have to adapt and think out-of-the-box constantly. My disability is the spark that has led to many of my passions, and the inventiveness and imagination that I developed as a child was directly because of my difference. There is also the fact that my disability meant that while others were out playing sports, I was writing stories and playing role-playing games. So thank you, cerebral palsy, for giving me a creative core.

I give thanks to my disability for the community that it has provided to me. Being a part of the disabled community in Toronto and beyond has been one of the most rewarding parts of my adult life. Through my identity, I am connected to so many incredible people, organizations and opportunities. I have built so many rich friendships thanks to my membership in this community. I have said for years that the disability community is one of the most vibrant, exciting and dynamic groups and I consider myself truly fortunate to be a part of it. So thank you, cerebral palsy, for giving me one hell of a network.

I give thanks to my disability for the career path that it has sent me on. My identity as a disabled man has always been a central part of what I do professionally. That is not the case for everyone with a disability, nor should it be. For me, however, my disability has certainly shaped what I've done to build my career. It has given me the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship. It is given me the opportunity to do amazing speaking engagements and to learn where I want to go in my career. My current job I got as a direct result of my lived experience of disability, and it has always informed the professional perspectives that I'm proud to hold. So thank you, cerebral palsy, for putting me on the path to professional success.

Too often in this world we don't say thank you to ourselves and to the parts of us that make us successful.  In this month where we celebrate giving thanks, I would like to acknowledge my disability and the part it has played in making me who I am. So thank you cerebral palsy!