The Opportunity of Adversity

Last week, my arthritis friend Jen H. sent me the video you see embedded below. Before I even watched it, I knew I’d be writing about it here. The title alone was enough to indicate to me that double amputee Aimee Mullins probably had some radical thoughts about living with a disability.

Aimee takes the topics of disability and adversity and masterfully spins them on their head. “We [people who face adversity] are changed, we are marked, of course, by a challenge, whether physically emotionally or both,” she says. “I’m going to suggest that this is a good thing.”

A good thing like a Martha Stewart good thing? Nope. Not even close. A good thing like your life could potentially be transformed if you can begin to believe that adversity should be embraced, rather than overcome. “There’s a difference in a medical condition and what someone might do with it,” she says in the talk.

Aimee was born without calf bones and had both legs amputated below the knee when she was an infant. She has essentially lived her whole life “researching” this topic. I want to ruminate more on the ideas she covers in her talk and then write more, but for now I’m going to post the video so you can take a look.

Watch and prepare to be inspired!

How will you meet adversity today?

Aimee Mullins: The Opportunity of Adversity [via my friend Jen H. and TED Talks)