As promised, here is the next installment of my review on Patrick Henry’s book I Am Potential; Last week, I explored the role of Patrick Henry’s mother in attempting to create a bridge of understanding towards his disability. This wasn’t always easy as evident by my last Patrick Henry as well as my own relating my recent personal experiences. But there are always two sides to every story. Today, I’m going to focus on the majority of people who do understand that a disability in no way makes you less of a person.
The Louisville marching band, the “Extreme makeover” cast and crew are among the majority of people that make Patrick Henry feel accepted and loved”These people get it; they understand I’m more like them than I am different from them… I thrive on acceptance and being thought of as a valuable human being and not someone to be pitied.” He said.
How should you approach someone that’s different than you?
Here is Patrick Henry’s response:
“Go in the opposite direction and look for all the ways the person is just like you!”
That doesn’t mean the road to acceptance is the easy one; it is not.. Especially when you’ve been devastated by the news that life didn’t turn out like you planned. This is when you have to put away the dreams you once had for yourself and a loved one, creating new ones (more achievable) for the person.
This takes time. As evident by John Henry’s journey.
“From the earliest months of Patrick Henry’s life, I didn’t fully grasp the many challenges we’d have to face as parents; Patricia, on the other hand, knew the depth of our situation right from the start.. she also knew that for the most part she’d be doing this alone or at best, dragging me along for the ride!” John Henry says.
After all, what could be done to help this situation?
So for a while, Patrick’s father continued with his daily routine of work and men’s outings. Through it all, Patricia understood.. Giving him credit even when he didn’t deserve it. Occasionally, though, there were times of great bonding between father and son; these quiet times consisted of simply napping together with Patrick on his chest.