On Thursday and Friday, the staff at my school attended the MANS convention here in Detroit (Michigan Association for Non-Public Schools). Being yesterday was Friday, I was very tempted to attend just a couple sessions and then leave right after lunch. But while sitting at lunch with a group of colleagues, a few of them mentioned a session they attended that was so powerful it moved them to tears.
Since there was a repeat session at 2:30 I forced myself to stay to see what this session was all about.
Bill Barkeley is legally blind and lost 85% of his hearing at age five. Given these disabilities, you'd think he'd just be sitting at home, allowing his friends and family to do for him all the things a blind/deaf person can't do. But in all the Bill has lost, he always kept his faith and always believed that God had a plan for him. And you'll never believe what he set out to do: climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. And climb it he did.
What is so inspiring about Barkeley's climb is not just that he did it, but that he sees his blindness and deafness as a blessing. He thinks that non-disabled people often don't know what to do with the gifts they have been given and as a disabled person, he was able to "see" that constraints help make clear what is possible in life.