Meet Earl. :)
The last few days, I have been thinking quite a bit about this handsome guy...
I first met Earl when he showed up at my channel on Ustream back in late 2007 as the world's first handicapable lifecaster.
He is also: one of the wisest individuals that I've ever known (virtually, or IRL), an adult with Cerebral Palsy, confined to a wheelchair, and probably the best example of someone who COULD be frustrated with his body, but instead chooses to embrace his idiosyncrasies and utilize them to inspire others - like me.
People always say to me, "Wow. Lifecasting must have been hard." Yeah. It was.
The Internetz can be a mean and cruel place. It possesses something tempting to certain people: the ability to lash out against things (that have no real bearing with where the anger came from in the first place) and it's relatively anonymous. Put those together, and it's an instant recipe for potential hecklers and nay-sayers.
Earl knows how difficult life (and lifecasting) can be - and he has the unique perspective of dealing with a physical challenge while doing it. And you know what? He has handled the whole thing with style, grace and a smile on his face.
As I deal with overcoming some of my own physical challenges, it's become painfully obvious that I am completely invested in the concept that my body will continue to operate perfectly.
Retrospectively, I'm not sure that mindset has served me very well, as it has allowed me to:
push forward when my body tells me to sleep
say hello to a friend when my vocal chords need rest
deprive my body of nutrients because I am forgetful or temporarily out of cash
These things are all fine and dandy for some people, without repercussions. But, I've never really been one of those people to get away with anything. It's some strange cosmic-karma that I have to deal with.
You can hear both parts (of a two part) of a podcast interview Earl gave here and here.
Earl - the coming weeks for me might be incredibly difficult. But I wanted to let you know that you are not only an inspiration to many - right now you are 'THE inspiration" to me.
Thank you for reminding me that I am more than my body - I am my contribution.
Thank you also for the inspiration, and the wisdom that we do not always need to seek inspiration but rather, sometimes inspiration finds us.
You are a wise fellow, indeed.