Most inspiring luminaries
TV is dissed and dismissed by some people as a “vast wasteland,” an initially promising medium of communication and expression that has tragically fallen short of expectations, and is in fact guilty of “dumbing down” the global viewing populace with its shallow and hollow shows.
On the other hand, TV occasionally gifts us with inspiring role models, individuals and visionaries who have audaciously pioneered in new fields of thought and endeavor, or have courageously triumphed over severe physical disabilities that make most other people give up the fight.
It is these truly inspiring luminaries whom we gratefully focus on and honor today:
Topping our exceedingly excellent short list is Stephen Hawking, the brilliant scientist and theoretician who was felled by ALS, (or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a motor neural disease that has reduced him to immobility.
And yet, through sheer dint of self-transformative indomitability, he’s remained an active leader in the rigorous field of cosmology—and even hosts a TV show that astounds his peers and many viewers with its brilliant hypotheses.
Hawking’s disability has robbed him even of his voice, and yet he has successfully resorted to state-of-the-art science to create new, computer-enhanced speech for himself, so he can continue communicating with his audience of millions, stunning viewers with the undiminished genius of his truly far-out scientific forays into the distant reaches of our ever-expanding universe.
How does he do it? How does a seemingly inert and “useless” human vegetable buck the odds and remain at the forefront of space science and quantum mechanics? Hawking’s never-say-die attitude inspires many other people to similarly refuse to be restricted by their “limitations,” no matter how daunting and crushing they may seem to be. If he can do it, so can they!
Next on our list of awesomely inspiring heroes is Ade Adepitan—the only paraplegic who cohosts a travel show on TV! At first blush, that would seem to be a contradiction in terms—and yet Adepitan vivifies the “impossible” in affirmative action, by flying and “wheelchairing” all over the world to sample and savor its visual and scenic delights on the BBC’s “The Travel Show”—and bring them to the avid attention of armchair travelers and televiewers.
Our third admirable role model comes closer to home
—she’s Jessica Cox, the armless Fil-Am super-achiever who’s definitely not allowed her major disability to limit her options and achievements. Not only did she finish college and become a popular motivational speaker, but she’s also learned how to fly a plane, and has traveled all over the world to bring hope to the hopeless—and prove that life is what you choose to make it!
Aside from their many other plus points, these three “differently abled” inspirational role models have gone way beyond the usual self-pity that keeps other afflicted people immobile and helpless.
Life really is what you will it to be, so disability should be seen, not as a life sentence, but as a challenge to find a different way to remain an active, contributing member of the human race!
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