As most of you know, I have a speech impairment. I’ve worked very hard over the years to create articulation tactics in order to be understood. Although it is challenging, occasionally, I’ll get that “what did you say” look, but for the most part, I am understandable.
I am encouraged when I see another person succeeding with the same challenge as me. Poet Amanda Gorman not only has me feeling encouraged these days, but she is giving me that feeling of empowerment.
Amanda, who not only recited an igniting original poem at this year’s big game, but the inauguration too. Twenty-two years ago, she and her twin sister were born premature and was given the prognoses of possibly having a disability. Disabilities have a way of making life full of challenges and most times, make it difficult to succeed. My parents were given similar prognoses about me when I was born, but guess what? I fooled the professionals and my life has been filled with many successes.
Turned out, Amanda had auditory and speech articulation issues that was determined in Kindergarten. As a person with a speech impairment, I know how hard it is to live with this disability. Society often associates a speech impairment with cognitive intellect. This is sad but true. I can’t count how many times a person has tried to overlook or tried to treat me as if I’m a child because of the way I speak. I also know, the only way I’m going to get my wants and needs met, is by speaking. I used to hate my voice. I know you’re saying “hate” is a strong word, but I did. I thought it made me sound like a monster. I quickly realized with the moral support of family and friends, that my voice was, beautiful! It’s a little different but being different and unique is what makes the world go round.
Often a disability has a way of making you feel, less than a person. If you look different, act different, or talk different, the assumption is something must be wrong with you, but this is not true for most. Those who are “different”, are the ones who are doing great things and impacting the world like, Amanda!
Amanda has gone on to write and recite poems making her one of the most sought-out people in the world.
Because of her talent, she’s graced the cover of Time Magazine and was signed to IGM Models.
Amanda Gorman is a name that you’ll never forget. She will go down in history for motivating many. She advocates to use what you have to the best of your ability. Thanks, Amanda, for flaming my fire to let my voice be heard.