Recently a friend of ours asked a question about reaching your own potential.. And whether or not potential has an endpoint – this has really got me thinking.. Especially in relation to being deaf.
Deaf kids do find it harder to learn, that’s a fact! You go and stick earplugs in and put your head underwater and then try and learn phonics – it’s tough. But just because you find it difficult to access information doesn’t mean you can’t learn .. Or that you don’t have as much potential as the next kid. We have to attend lots of appointments in relation to Millie, and the difficulty she has in accessing information and for the most part we have found that everyone is as keen as us to see how far Millie can go… But recently it was mentioned that perhaps we shouldn’t worry so much as she “wasn’t at the bottom of the class”. And it was the this comment, no doubt kindly meant, that has struck a chord with the issue of potential.
Potential is defined as having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.. thats us.. Thats ALL of us..
So my contention is this..quite simply – we ALL have immense potential, probably far beyond that which we will ever actually achieve. The sky really could be the limit. I really don’t care if Millie(or any of my kids) are at the bottom if the class… As long as they are all being given the opportunity to reach their own potential – whatever that may be. I find it staggering that just because someone isn’t the worst that this means we should just sit back and stop trying. Millie is 5 – I have no idea what she is capable of.. And most importantly neither does she. Kids say they believe they will grow up to go to the moon and we all smile – but the truth is, why can’t they? Are we limiting their infinite potential by imposing our grown up reality on their dreams?
The trick in life has to be to find your “thing”. That special something that you love to do, and do it often, and do it well. Part of reaching yor full potential surely must be connected with finding the best thing for you to be successful at, whatever that might be.
So that makes our job.. as parents, teachers, friends to be to put all children (and ourselves!!) in front of as many different experiences and challenges so they can find that potential and explore it fully.