We all are one. There is no difference between you or me. I have felt unconditional acceptance in the air between a diverse group of human beings and we all are the same just people trying to have fun in a world of adversity and challenges.
Martin Luther King once said, “We will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”
Unfortunately, our society tends to divide instead of unifying and supporting each other without trying to take advantage for our own good. On an unexpected day I got to experience unconditional love and that beautiful symphony of brotherhood MLK preached about. Indeed, it was beautiful unity between human beings feels good at the heart. Through this blog, I’ll share an experience of unity, brotherhood, unconditional love and friends that were drunk in love but more in love than anything else. Also, I’ll encourage others to love one another like brother and sister.
Acceptance of self and others with arms wide open no questions asked is what defines unconditional love. The biggest example of this kind of love is Jesus Christ and I’m trying to follow his great example. He loved the world so much that he died for it. But, God accepted each and every one of us for who we are. He didn’t care about gender, race, ethnicity, condition, nor wealth. To him we were all equal and he loves each of us equally. We are all connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, “God”. The connection to God and all of us should be grounded in love and acceptance. Researchers have shown that the people that live by this principle are more able to overcome the adversities of life and enjoy life to the fullest.
At the age of sixteen the symbol of acceptance in the form of a wheelchair heart logo came into my life at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Camp. I love that symbol and throughout my blogs I always write about it. When I met this symbol it changed the course of my life forever. One of the creators of the symbol Stevie Hopkins has a type of muscular dystrophy like myself. He shared with me the story of his sister that had pass away due to her disease but she left a legacy in the form of a symbol of acceptance towards ourselves and others. It originally was made for a shirt at the dorm I currently live in at UIUC which it’s the school Stevie and his sister graduated from. Through his story I became more motivated to love myself for who I am even more, love life no matter what and to pursue my goal of obtaining an education. Since nothing stopped Stevie nor his sister, nothing was going to stop me from equality and obtaining an education like everyone else.
Today the international day of acceptance is celebrated as I’m currently living and rolling through life at UIUC where this symbol was born. I’m going there because it has the best program for those with disabilities in the nation. Another reason is the powerful symbol that encourages the same acceptance that God is all about was created there. At my dorm there are 26 residents and many friends in the form of students and personal assistants that merge into a community. We create events, we support each other, and we do all sorts of fun things. Every year there is a tradition of a bar crawl that contains five bars where current residents, past residents, personal assistants, family and friends wear the same shirt.
That night of that bar crawl was more powerful than many experiences regarding acceptance I have experienced. Almost, as powerful as the day I met the symbol of acceptance for the first time. The shirt said, “Drunk in Love” and it had the wheelchair heart symbol on the O. About 80 people bought the shirt and attended that bar crawl. This bar crawl is more diverse than the usual bar crawls. There were parents of some residents, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, latinos, americans, europeans, asians, afro-americans, and people with disabilities.
All of those different groups of people with different backgrounds, challenges and adversities were all in one spot of the world unified by the same cause. With no single judgements everyone was accepted and people took pictures with strangers as if they were brothers or sisters. That’s the beautiful symphony of brotherhood MLK advocated years ago. That night it felt like I truly was living by the meaning of the symbol of acceptance. Embracing life to the fullest and seeing anybody around me as equal. I definitely celebrated life as I got to spin my wheels around, dance to the beats, and laugh the crap out of life with all the different kinds of people that literally make up this world.
To close up, in the bible in 1 John 4:20 it says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
To this bar crawl everyone was welcomed and we all invited anybody we knew. Even people that don’t normally go out where present and everyone received them so excited with arms wide open. In not just bar crawls but in anything in life we should include and accept everyone no matter what especially if we claim to love God. Only then we will be able to transform the discords of society and turn them into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we welcome everyone equally into anything our society will be able to grow together by learning from each other’s diversities, cultures, and experiences. By doing so, it will help out others find their spot in the world. There will always be challenges and adversities in the world but we won’t let them define us if we face them together supporting each other like equal brothers and sisters.