Hello everyone! Today I have another amazing guest for my message from another walk of life segment! This guest is Mao Yang and she will talking about physical disabilities and what that means to her and what she thinks you should know about it. There is so much great information her and things to learn, so without further ado let’s jump right into the interview!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself to start?
Hi everyone!!!! First off before I get started, I just wanted to say thank you to Maya for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to share her space with her. It is an honor I do not take lightly and I am so happy to be here. I am a writer/storyteller/dreamer of peace and positivity and amateur disability awareness advocate.
What Project are you currently working on?
As a person with a creative mind, I think the more accurate question is when am I not working on a project, to be honest with you. I am always looking to do collaborations such as guest posts with as many fellow bloggers or websites as I can, submit poetry, articles or editorials to magazines and literary journals, and come up with fresh and new content for my own blog, I try to balance it all.
What message do you have to give about disabilities?
The message I have to give about people with disabilities is that although we may have limitations, we all have our own individual struggles and stories to tell, just like our able-bodlied counterparts so please do not assume you know or think you know what it must be like to have a disability. Open up your mind and give us a chance to show you who we are and exactly what we are capable of. Having and living with a disability is by no means easy, and it is not something I would personally wish anyone to have to deal with, but it is not a death sentence. Some say they can’t imagine how we deal with it, but the truth is, we deal with it because we have to, it’s there, it’s a part of us, and it’s something that can’t simply be ignored in everything we do or everywhere we go. But we are all still human, with hopes and dreams, seeking success, and yearning for love.
What is one common misconception about disabilities?
I think this is a difficult question because it depends on who you ask, every non-able bodied person or person with a disability (Whatever you choose to call it to society will mean the same and most people in the disability community will understand. I just prefer the term non-ablebodied for myself because it only hinders what I can do physically, not how I function mentally or emotionally. But with that said, I do understand why people refer to myself and others with limitations that have to do and think about how they are going to complete a task in a different way or need help in our daily lives as having a disability because I look at it as an umbrella or broad term for limitations that people may have to fight to overcome day in and out, only not in the physical sense, but also in the ways you can’t see because every disability presents itself differently depending on the individual and how it affects them, as not every person with a disability is in a wheelchair.) I feel will have a different answer based on their own life experience and perception, so I will speak for myself. The biggest misconception that I think people have about people with a disability is that we can’t talk, think for ourselves, and have the ability to feel.
What are your dreams for your future?
My dreams for my future are to publish a book, to continue to inspire people with my thoughts and words, to never stop growing and learning, to become more at peace with myself.
What is a story which has really impacted in your life?
A story that has really impacted my life is a story I did about the #IcebucketChallenge a few years back because at the time I did not know what ALS was. I just saw videos of people pouring heavy amounts of water on themselves again and again like it was just a fashion trend and not a worthy cause. I felt many people did it for just the fun of it, without really knowing the purpose behind it and that while their participation in this challenge would help create awareness, the true difference has to come from their donations. It was the first time I felt really compelled to research and educate myself for a story, and what I found out about this horrible disease will stay with me forever.
What is one piece of advice which has stuck with you?
Dr. Phil once got this advice from his son when discussing whether or not to do a particular episode, “If a person is only going to see one (episode of) Dr. Phil in their entire life, would you be okay if it was this one?” I ask myself that same question when it comes to the stories and topics I write about.
Anything you would like to add?
I would like to encourage those of you reading this to try each day to impact people in a positive way. Whether you have known them for 30 seconds or a lifetime, everyone needs and deserves to feel valued. Through a simple smile, wave, helping hand, or few kind words, you could change someone’s day, week, or view of life.
Where can people find you online?
If you enjoyed this story and interview as much as I did than let me know by leaving a comment!
Until next time use the power of stories to empower yourself and empower others and together let’s be a Powered Crowd for positive change!