Friday, 18 April 2014

99 Problems and Palsy is just one

Let me ask you a question.

A not-very-comfortable question.

Source: Google Images
How comfortable are you, when you are with a physically challenged or mentally challenged adult or child? Do you become flustered or over-protective or patronising, not knowing whether what you are doing or saying is right or wrong? I think twice to offer a helping hand lest they are offended. I get very flustered as I don't want to offend, hurt or my words & actions misconstrued. At the same time, I want them to know that I am around, if required  So, you see I am learning.

Here's what Maysoon Zayid says. You may ask, "who is that?". I will answer your question shortly. But here is what she says. She says, "Most people don’t know whether to feel sorry for the disabled person, ignore the disability like it isn’t there or to treat them like children that are unable to live like fully-functioning adults". Ouch!

Maysoon Zayid, is an Palestinian-American comedienne. She should know what she is talking about. As she talks about her journey from the time she was a child to her present, one thing stands out. She is one tough cookie. A fighter to the core; A fighter with an amazing sense of humour.

Source : Google Images
So, you may ask, what's so special about Maysoon? She is special because, though she was born with cerebral palsy which causes her to shake a lot all the time, she has not allowed it to come in the way of what she wanted to do.

We all hear about the great quality of people laughing at themselves. But to see Maysoon taking potshots at her condition, takes the respect and awe one feels towards her, to a whole new level.

She says that she has 99 problems and cerebral palsy is just one of them. She does not allow people to feel sorry for her. She is living life. As she wanted and as she dreamt. Her parents had a large role to play in ensuring that.

Considered as America's first muslim stand-up comic, she is also an actress, a philanthropist and an advocate for the disabled.

Here's a link to her humorous, but very insightful TED talk. The way she talks about her condition, how she makes the audience feel comfortable with her & her condition, makes this as one of the most useful 14.13minutes you will ever spend. I watch this video repeatedly when I feel a need to be inspired.

Listening to her talk about her life, I am sure, will give a lot of people hope.

This post is dedicated to all those with cerebral palsy and their support systems.


  1. yes--thanks--she is amazing!!! xox jean

  2. Book marking to watch the video when I go back home!
    Thanks Prathima for introducing Maysoon

  3. Thanks for sharing an inspirational video. What an amazing lady.

  4. I saw her video recently and was awed by her spirit. What a wonderful person!

  5. What a beautiful, beautiful post Prathima. I confess, I too get flustered. I don't know if my concern might be misconstrued. I saw the TED video; it is absolutely inspiring. Thank you for sharing a brave woman's story. I guess we all need reminders from time to time.

    1. Thank you Dagny. And thank you for watching the video. Oh yes, she is indeed a brave woman.