Lessons from Handicapped

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The first Sunday of the month of December is not only the first Sunday of Advent but also "Catholic Handicapped Sunday."Today's event reminds me of a Fil-American girl who came home to the Philippines together with her parents, Bill and Inez, last January, 2010, not just to trace her Filipino roots but also to inspire her kababayans.* * *Jessica Cox, a 26-year-old native of Arizona, gained fame in the United States to become the very first pilot without arms.Jessica was born without arms and has used her feet in doing just about anything.* * *She earned wings in 2008 and was given her pilot's license by the US Federal Aviation Administration despite having no arms.Jessica's mother exposed her to all kinds of normal activities since she was young. Jessica took swimming lessons, gymnastics, tap dancing, and even Tae Kwon-Do where she earned a black belt.* * *"I would like to inspire and encourage Filipinos to do more things," Jessica said. "I want them to realize, 'Hey, if she can do a lot of thing without arms, then I can do so much more with my life.""The only limitations in our lives are the ones that we create," she added.* * *Jessica shows that physical defect is no obstacle in achieving one's goal. She did not feel bitter and resentful over her fate, but demonstrated she could rise from her physical defect.* * *A handicapped in the family can teach a valuable spiritual lesson, too. For instance, the mother of a brain-injured child said, "We would have called our daughter's handicap the greatest tragedy of our lives if it were not for the fact that through it, we came to know the Lord much better. …