Small is Powerful: Aimee Mullins

(image source: The Dolls Factory) 

“If we want to discover the full potential of our humanity we need to celebrate those heartbreaking strengths and those glorious disabilities that we all have.”
-Aimee Mullins

I know it’s hard to feel your limitations, I really do.

Some mornings it’s heartbreaking to wake up, once again in pain.
Some days the weight of spending another 18 hours with a newborn seems unbearable.
Some months the shortage in your checkbook feels like a death blow to all your dreams.

Sometimes small does not feel powerful.

Once when I was struggling with the umpteenth day in a row of migraine pain, a friend tried to be helpful by saying something like, “But you can still do your work. I mean, look at what Stephen Hawkings has overcome!”

I wanted to throw a book at her head.

But regardless of her timing, she had a point.

Your limitations may change the way you pursue your passions, but they don’t have to stop you. Indeed, they can make you something more.

Click to Tweet the Good Word.

I’ve yet to find someone who personifies this truism more clearly than Aimee Mullins. Aimee is a para-athelte. She runs (and wins) races on her high-tech prosethic “cheetah” legs. Gorgeous, intellegent, and well-spoken, Aimee’s talents have opened many doors — including the opportunity to own more than a dozen kinds of legs. Running legs. “Glass” legs. Model legs that let her be 6′ 1″ instead of her “normal” 5′ 8″.

Through experiencing these different sets of legs, Aimee has synthesized a message about how one might turn a dis-ability into a superpower. It involves a marriage between technology and poetry, with a good does of whimsy added in. (She had me at “Whimsy matters.” )

In this 2009 TED Talk, Aimee explains how one might begin to live as a superhero:

“…People that society once considered to be dis-abled can now become the architect of thier own identities, and indeed continue to change those own identities…from a place of empowerment “

My blessing for you today, Magpie, is this:

May you find inspiration to start seeing your “smallness” not as a limitation,
but as a superpower.

May innovation, and poetry gaze dreamily at each other across your kitchen table.
May moments of solutions be slipped under your door like a love letter.

And today, may you walk 6 feet tall.
(Amen? Amen.)

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Kel May 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I gratefully receive your blessing Rachelle
and look forward to seeing a solution slip through the doorway

Rachelle May 17, 2012 at 10:52 am


Let me know if I can help. We could brainstorm ways for encouraging that solution to show it’s pretty face.

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