My teacher once said that her next life, she hoped to be born in a family of yogi’s. She knows how important knowledge is, and how much intelligence and awareness comes with the practice of yoga. You kind of “inherit” some abilities, knowledge and awareness from your family.
Some of you are aware that the practice of yoga plants seeds of greatness that allow you to see good things in your future. The more “good” you do, the more “good” you will see. Even though I did not come from a family of yogi’s, my parents did teach me how to plant good seeds. I would like to tell you about a specific seed my mom planted…..
I am youngest of 5 children. The oldest in our family was a girl, named Sharon, who was born with a bone disease. She spent most of her life in a wheel chair. Sharon and I became very close, as most of my early years she was bed ridden, so she taught me, read to me, and watched me. Mom got her in a wheel chair, and went about the process of getting her enrolled in school. By that time, she was entering middle school. The principal suggested Sharon go to a “different school”, one that was tailored to special kids. Mom would have nothing of the sort, seeing how she was smart as a whip, and just in a wheel chair. This was well before the Americans with Disabilities Act. The school held their ground, but my mom was persistent in getting Sharon enrolled. They finally consented, and allowed Sharon to come to school, but they would not go out of their way to make special arrangements for her. This was a problem because this particular school had 3 floors, and no elevators. Mom got around that by pulling my brother David out of his class to carry Sharon up and down flights of steps to her classes.
In her own special way, my mom was teaching us all a great lesson about different people. Everyone should be treated equal, from Mexicans to Muslims, from the poorest to the richest, we are all the same in God’s eye. Equally loved, and deserving to be respected by all. I’m sure mom’s act of defiance in her way led to the forming of the ADA. (Americans with Disabilities Act) The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Because of this, Sharon went on to college, becoming an accountant.
I should mention that is was not easy in the beginning. There was much defiance among the school, from the principal, to the teachers, and even the students. The students whispered behind Sharon’s back, and even made fun of her right in front of her face. The staff did little to discourage students from this type of behavior. However, my family persisted. One particular time David was carrying Sharon up the stairs, with the same thing happening; kids talking bad. He calming set Sharon down, went over, and punched a kid in the face. After that, there was less talking. Sharon thrived in school, meeting lots of friends.
If we are lucky, we are born into these incredible families that teach us how to live, how to treat others, and how to love. I am so blessed to have known Sharon, and be a daughter to my parents. Their life lessons continue on to my kids. For this, I am extremely grateful. Mom has showed us all how to be persistent in getting what you want, without violence. Standing up for what you believe. Protecting the ones society has cast aside. If you would like to see Sharon, her picture is by the CD player in the studio. Her spirit lives on inside of me.
See you on the mat,