None of us arrived here on Earth perfect, without any flaws. We were all born with imperfections. Some people were born with very minor imperfections such as a birthmark on their leg, while others may have been born without a leg.
Some of us who appear to have minor or no imperfections at birth will begin showing their imperfections as they start to grow.
Parents who have an autistic child do not know the child’s imperfection until he or she is between twelve and twenty-four months of age and in some cases even later than twenty-four months after birth.
The rest of us will acquire imperfections sometime during our lives.
Imperfections can be caused by health issues at any age.
It is estimated that 15 to 18 percent of school aged children live with a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, cerebral palsy, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, spina bifida and congenital heart problems.
As we age imperfections are not just limited to physical health diagnosis; a mental health diagnosis can also require someone to live life with an imperfection:
Persons with schizophrenia are diagnosed in their early adult years, often before the age of thirty while persons who are living with bipolar are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition around the age of twenty-five.
The more risks we take in life, either accidently or on purpose, increases our odds of acquiring an imperfection.
A car accident, a plane crash, a poor choice made while diving into a pool or lake, being a victim of a violent crime, or getting hurt at work can leave marks of imperfection on a person.
The doctors attributed my imperfections to the Rubella syndrome.
I was born with imperfections, my parents discovered additional imperfections during my childhood and I acquired an additional imperfection before the age of forty.
During my mother’s pregnancy with me, she was exposed to the German Measles. That exposure caused me to be born with several imperfections. I was born with cataracts, a constricted aorta and with some of my intestines on the outside of my belly.
For me, I didn’t start talking until the age of two, which I am sure worried my parents. When I did begin speaking my parents quickly realized that I had speech impediment. They knew that my speech impediment was so severe that I required a speech therapist to begin working with me at our home before I had even started pre-school.
As I continued to grow I exhibited signs of anti-social behavior. My behavior, along with my stubbornness to rebel against authority, got me into plenty of trouble before (and after) doctors diagnosed me with ADHD.
In my mid-thirties, engaged to my fiancée and with less than a year before our wedding, I survived an ischemic stroke to my spinal cord during a cardiac procedure. The damage to my spinal cord took away, among other things, my ability to walk or stand.
Like most people who are living with imperfections, I have asked “why me?”
As a child, I often asked; “Why was I born with cataracts? I can’t see well enough to play baseball as good as the other kids.” “Why am I legally blind? I probably never will be able to get a driver’s license.” “Why do I have speech impediment? How am I going to be a successful jock on a morning radio show?”
After my ischemic stroke, I asked myself “Why did this happen to me? This is not only going to change my life forever, it will also change my fiancée’s life and she did nothing to deserve this.”
To every question that I had asked myself, I always answered with one of my core beliefs “Everything in life happens for a reason” followed by “God has a reason why he allowed this to happen in my life and if I search for the answer while allowing God to guide my steps, I will find it in time.”
It took me years of searching and contemplating, but I now know that every one of my imperfections were given to me for a very special reason – and that is to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.
Today every health issue I faced as a child has given me the ability to both be empathetic and connect with people I meet who ae facing any health challenge or disability.
Today I use all the trouble I that my ADHD and/or stubbornness got me into to mentor young people. Using those experiences, I show them that we all make mistakes. I also share with them that regardless of the size of our mistakes, those bad decisions do not have to define who we are.
Today I use the strugglers I faced as I fought to get my life back after my ischemic stroke to my spinal cord to inspire others to overcome any adversities in their lives.