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Celebrate empowerment today

by Mary Mazzoni on August 30, 2012

People who live fully change the world.

As we learn about and celebrate their lives, we’re encouraged to live our own lives in our own way, and empower others to do the same.

Today, we have much to celebrate!

August 29 is:

  • Justin Dart’s Birthday (1930)
  • Temple Grandin’s Birthday (1947)
  • Paralympics Opening Day (2012)

Let’s take a bit of time to learn and celebrate!

Justin Dart

Often called the Father of the ADA, Justin Dart’s passionate leadership profoundly influenced the Disability Rights Movement and the lives of all people seeking justice and equal opportunity.

Celebrate his birthday by reading his vision for empowerment called “With Liberty and Justice for All”.

You can also  read an interview with Justin Dart  here, and hear his farewell message here.

Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin rose to become one of the top scientists in her field at a time when accommodations and supports were essentially non-existent for people with autism.

By candidly sharing her experiences and insights, Dr. Grandin has helped to change the autism conversation to (finally – and thankfully) – include autistic people themselves.

You can listen to Dr. Grandin’s practical views on empowerment and what’s important in life here. Explore her writings and resources at her official autism website here, and learn about the 2010 HBO feature film about her life here.

Paralympic Games 2012 

This year’s Paralympics promise to be the best yet – by every measure. 4200 athletes from 164 nations will compete and many records will be broken. The events in London are sold out.

Live television coverage will be extensive in many countries. For reasons I don’t understand, the Games will be given little T.V. airtime in the U.S. But  you can catch more than 780 hours of live Paralympic action at www.paralympic.org. You can also link directly to the blogs of many athletes.

So, what is empowerment?

“Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, who competes representing South Africa in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, puts it this way: “You are not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”

Each of the athletes, who have trained and sacrificed for their dream, embody the spirit of empowerment.

So does Temple Grandin with her message that “the world needs all kinds of minds”.

Justin Dart, and all who labored for the ADA, have opened doors to empowerment for all. But  moving through those doors isn’t easy.

It takes self determination.

Celebrating empowerment

August 29 has come and gone.

The time to celebrate empowerment is today – and every day.

But how?

Let’s start by teaching our kids to:

  • use their own voice
  • set their own goals
  • and work toward their own dreams

And let’s set an example – by doing so ourselves.

Your turn

What is one specific thing you can do today to celebrate empowerment in your child’s life – and your own? Who has been an empowerment role model for you? Use your voice – leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you.

If you like this post – empower someone else – and share it!

More power to you!

Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB at Flickr

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