What makes a hero?Is it someone with superpowers?Is it someone with kindness in his/her heart?Is it someone who is rich and willing to share his/her money? Is it someone who saves a puppy stuck in a river or a baby from a burning building?
I think we all have our own definitions of heroes. Usually,the definitions include someone who does something good for someone else. I am here to challenge that thought-I think we all need to do good for others. We are put here on this earth for that. At the same time,though,I think we need to remember ourselves. You know the saying that says," The cobbler's son has the worst shoes" or " The pastor's son is the most disruly and unG-dly"? We need to take care of us and our own before we can take care of others.
A hero to me is someone who tries his or her best-despite what others say. A hero is someone who takes a new path, sees a dream and chases it. My hero this week is Arthur Hart.
Arthur is a 17 year old young man who has a moderate to severe hearing loss. He was raised in a public school, using hearing aids and learning to speak and listen. Arthur was always a hard working kid, great athlete,super friend and great son. However, he felt like he was missing out. After much discussion and much thought, Arthur decided to transfer to the Wisconsin School for the Deaf as a sophomore in HS. Arthur started at a school where ALL the staff and kids signed....and he knew a handful of signs I had taught him! He had NO interpreter-he had to sink or swim... I wondered if he would sink..but he proved me wrong and he swam. He had his ups and downs-he was a teen,for goodness sakes, but it was a good overall experience. He wanted a bigger challenge and he went to MSSD on the Gallaudet campus-another ALL signing school. He found his identity-as a Deaf young man. He flourished there and is in his senior year.
Arthur just signed his letter of intent to be a punter at University of North Carolina in Charolette-watch his video and see how happy he is. I am so proud of him that he has gone so far. I am proud of him that he will get a full ride for his athletic talents. I am so proud of him that he signs about himself being "deaf". WE did not label him that-he chose to call himself that. We all need to respect each other's communication choices and labels.
Let's take Arthur's successes as examples of heroes who find who they are, follow their dream, meet it and in doing that, are now role models and heroes for those around them! Best wishes, Arthur! When you get drafted to the NFL, remember to send your Deaf/HH teacher a ticket to your game:)
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.