March 2017 – “Leadership is action, not position.” ~Donald H. McGannon This quote came at an opportune time, when I was becoming frustrated with the lack of action. Since I use ASL daily, there was one phrase that I would sign “NAME LABEL-FRONT SHINE, BEHIND ZIP-NOTHING”. It may look funny to you, when you sign it, the quote fits this sign perfectly. Leadership is what you show through your action, not the position you hold. Simply stated.
October 2016 – ” To effectively communicate we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” ~Tony Robbins This quote appeared while working on a power point presentation for TEDxValparaiso University on 4 November 2016. Communication is critical and balance is needed to ensure that it gets across to others as well as self. Communication is not restricted only to spoken languages, also includes sign languages and communication tools. I have believed that deaf people tend to have a larger toolbox than most because they have to be creative in communicating with others; especially those who can be hard headed about restricting communication access.
October 2013 – “Keep Calm and Be Deaf”. This was created as a theme for the Northwest Indiana Deaf and Hard of Hearing 2014 Festival. What are your thoughts on this popular perspective? Many think that being deaf is a negative connotation; however, most of them never have been deaf. The concept of ‘Deaf’ is many. For me, it is just being me, being deaf is one of my personas, an aspect that has allowed me to grow to be the person I am today and will continue to have an impact on my future.
June 2013 – The limits of my language means the limits of my world. ~Ludwig Wittgenstein. This quote came up during my Masters studies at Gallaudet University. This allowed me to acknowledge that as a bilingual human being, knowing two languages has allowed me to open doors, strategies, and journey pathways into becoming a full human being. If one persists that there is only one language, the world that the person lives in will not be fulfilled. When one expands into another language, one will begin to understand his/her own language, culture and identity, which previously has been taken for granted.
1 March 2013 – “Easy reading is damned hard writing.” ~Nataniel Hawthorn & “Writing is a struggle against silence.” ~Carlos Fuentes. This is correct. I love to read but writing is something I struggle with. My thoughts. My expression. My thinking process. Trying not to be obnoxious and yet be honest with myself. Timing is critical and hopefully my energy stabilizes.
7 May – “I want everyone to be smart. As smart as they can be. A world of ignorant people is too dangerous to live in.” ~Garson Kanin; Born Yesterday. This resonates closely to what I know deeply to be true. Often I am told that I’m smart and so on, really when the fact that I am no smarter than the person next to me due to our life experiences, motivation, desire and passion. Being smart has nearly no relation to intelligence as illustrated by well known words such as ‘street smart’ or ‘book smart’. I am not sure whether there are more ‘smart’ idioms out there. It is amazing how degrading it is for people as children to be told that they are not ‘smart’ and have them believe that as adults. Smart is as smart does.
17 January – “Should one fear the truth that lies behind the lies?” A thought. It is like opening a can of worms when the truth is finally unmasked. Why are we so relieved with the lies that we are willing to perpetuate, rather than accept the truth. Do not people realize that half of the world lives the truth – possibly more, while the other half keeps the lies going on and on until the lies blow up in their face. Truth is painful but is honest. Lies may not hurt, but the ultimate goal of lies is to cover the ignorance, an individual ignorance of the entire world, that lies on it.
11 January 2012 – “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by the dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most Important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they some how already know what you truly want to become.” ~ Steve Jobs. Steve said this in his commencement speech at Standford University in 2005. I am not fond of Steve but there are considerations to his persona that make this statement relevant. It is also pretty much true when it comes to being already different and expecting one to be the same as others when you know that you are living someone’s life.
13 December – “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon & the truth.” ~ Buddha. So true. Even when we go through cycles such as the lunar orbital process, we can seek to hide the truth or reveal it. I only ask for strength of the truth to be true to itself as I be true to myself.
2 November – “We should not be upset when others hide the truth from us, when we hide it so often from ourselves.” ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld. That’s why we often find ourselves in conflict when we want the truth and hide the truth. I will say that this characteristic is most likely a human trait, although it has been seen in other animals.
27 October – “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~Professor Albus Dumbledore. Ain’t that a ditty! When we see an exceptional ability in others (especially the downtrodden), many make the choice to not go with their abilities. I am guilty of the same. When does our time come? Perhaps it has passed or has yet to come.
22 September – “People generally cannot see beyond a deaf or dumb person’s physical handicap. Many of them have hidden talent. All that is required is a little prodding, a push. Give them a little encouragement. They are not as disabled as you might think,” says Lim Sheng (deaf artist): Pretty much true. The same can be said in reverse situation, where a person who is black, white or hearing may be a barrier within other cultures as well.
31 August – “This isn’t right, this isn’t even wrong.” ~Wolfgang Pauli
26 August – “Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.” -Ovid. Got this from a friend who got this from someplace. Pain is something we need to embrace. Pain is a communicator. It tells you something that you need to know. Oft times, we ignore it or make a big deal out of it without understanding why this pain is here. Pain is a character that every being experiences, from amoebas to dogs to humans. Pain can teach and break someone.
8 July – “The purpose of torture is to break the person’s will and destroy their humanity.” -Tibetian refugee “Law and Order Special Victims Unit. This just struck a cord in me. I do realize that it is a television show in which this quote came from, just consider the oppression of self only because of non-conformity leads to oppression of a culture that is already disnictive from another culture despite its fluidity which is given by nature.
28 June – “Love one another–I mean really love. If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you.” -Frank Sinatra. No matter what feelings we may have for those who oppress and suppress the human qualities, we need to remember that ignorance is painful, more painful than love. Through love, ignorance will become enlightened.
28 May – “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Amen brother! People choose to ignore reality and how humans interact, creating beliefs that work for only a small percentage o the population. The rest join because it is available and “sounds” good.
17 March – “Without free speech no search for truth is possible, without free speech no discovery of truth is useful… Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than a denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people.” -Charles Bradlaugh, quoted in The Human Right to Language: Communication Access for Deaf Children by Lawrence M. Siegel: Indians were deprived of their languages once invaded by the Europeans. American Sign Language continues to be denied to more than 90% of children born deaf or hard of hearing while their hearing peers are allowed to learn sign language.
9 March – “I do not base success on what I can hear. I base success in what I do in life.” -jtw: Do we measure success in the capability of hearing? Or do we measure success in what we do everyday, whether we fail or succeed in those pebbles of actions?
4 March – “The problem is not that students do not hear. The problem is that the hearing world does not listen.” – Reverend Jesse Jackson, 1988 Deaf President Now: Listening is what what it is intended to be – it is a whole. Even if if you lose one sensory part of you, you can always listen in other ways. Try closing your eyes, listen. Closing your ears (mentally), listen.
8 February – “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” – Emile Zola: Each of us has a gift that needs to shine, to allow us to be a person with a strong and valid confirmation of self. Denial of the gift allows for atrophy of self.
17 December – “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” -James A. Baldwin: Sometimes knowing the truth about yourself is as scary as someone knowing about you. This is an embodiment of “two faced” attitude; which I try to avoid most of the time. Open yourself and be free!
9 December – “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” – Yogi Berra: When this was posted on my Facebook page…my godfather replied “what happens if you come to a spoon?” I wrote an interesting response and a few amusing responses. 😀
2 December 2010 “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” – James Thurber: Fitting! Sometimes the answers are so freaky you’d rather have the questions. What are questions if answers are readily given? How do poets, philosophers and thinkers survive if all answers are given?
3 December 2010 “Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.” – Norman B. Rice: Enlightenment and hope. What we want in our own little world can be dreary so we press on opportunities of hope to bring resources or information that introduces another ‘light’ to the other hand; whether it be a new culture/language, stories or the like.