In a world that exalts towering fortresses of strength and resilience, we tend to bottle up our vulnerability which is essentially the key that unlocks the door to genuine connections . In this article, I embark on a personal journey that uncovers the significance of vulnerability as well as its transformative essence. Rather than just talk about its importance, I delve into a real life experience that compelled me to shed my armor and embrace the captivating allure of this sentiment.
As I hold a torch on the elusive sentiment of vulnerability, it seems like something we all need to embrace in our lives, much like leaving a scar on my skin uncovered and letting its authenticity reign- without fearing the ugly mark of it.
The act of articulating emotions has become an arduous undertaking in the present age. Society has firmly implanted numerous pre conceived notions in our minds. Yet, these notions traffic meaningful connections and keep us from delving beneath the superficial layers we usually put up.
We can’t truly comprehend one another.
It's time to hit that reset button and create a safe and inclusive space where people can let their guards down and share their stories. Now that I have expressed my perception of vulnerability, I would like to talk about how I truly bring value to the act of expressing this emotion.
Well, it all began with a profound and eye-opening experience that shook me to my core during the summer of 2021. Yes, that summer… the one that brought Covid into our lives and forced us into a world of online interactions. Amidst the era of uncertainty, I received the rare opportunity to shadow a speech therapist through Zoom. She helped children with speech impairments find their voice and communicate with clarity.
I have to admit it: I was nervous at first…
I couldn't seem to escape the anxiety that enveloped my thoughts. Would I be judged by her? Would the children see me as an intruder into their intimate struggles? Such concerns gnawed on me as I embarked on this journey…
However, as covid receded and we took up the ‘new normal’ , a profound transformation had occurred. This virtual encounter evolved into something tangible leading me to her clinic every Saturday. There, amidst the laughter, struggles, victories and tears, I realized that this experience was shaping me in a way I had never even anticipated. I learnt that these children, so full of untapped potential, often find themselves on the fringes of society; ostracized and mocked by their so-called ‘normal’ peers.
Witnessing their daily struggles, I couldn't turn a blind eye any longer. For these children, simple tasks that most take for granted became daunting feats. Expressing opinions and feelings became an arduous journey as words stumbled and became tangled on their tongues. It hit me hard how communication, a seamless dance for many, transformed into a frustrating maze, leaving them feeling unheard in a world where the rest seem to speak a different language.
Then, there were the classrooms-the source of crippling anxiety for these brave children. Participating in discussions or answering questions became a nerve-wracking tightrope walk. Each question brought the fear of judgement and the need to repeat themselves.
Even the playground, meant for joyous camaraderie, became a crucible of social anguish. Communication barriers made forming friendships and engaging in conversations a task.
But in those moments, it dawned on me that they were more than just children with speech disabilities- they were warriors of resilience, courageously battling society’s unattainable norms.
Life may have moved on, but the impact of this journey stayed with me.
It led me to ponder how I could make a difference. My mind raced through countless possibilities. I felt that it was crucial for society to recognize that speech disabilities don't define these children, nor do they diminish their intelligence or worth. Ultimately, my vulnerability and introspection softly blossomed the idea to write a short book - a tale that would capture the essence of a young girl with a communication disorder who was navigating the treacherous waters of being alienated among her peers. It was reflecting on my feelings that birthed this book at the tender age of fifteen and that is what made me recognize for myself the power of vulnerability.
My aim is simple- to cultivate understanding and compassion among the next generation. I want to open their eyes to the unique challenges that these children face; challenges that are often invisible to the naked eye. What better way through the power of storytelling?
With my pen as a bridge-builder, I crafted a tale that would essentially connect children from all walks of life. This wasn't just any bridge- it was built with compassion and understanding, stretching across the divide of differences. On this bridge, we come together as a community, embracing everyone with open arms. Together, we can create an all encompassing atmosphere of love and acceptance. Let’s build more bridges of compassion, one story at a time.