Living in a world with labels doesn’t have to be a lousy existence — if you learn to find a label that fits. Make it a positive reflection of who you are and the person you strive to become.  I’m a gimp, and I know it, I also understand society sees me as less than everyone else. That’s a fact; there is no point in denying.

I also know God created me as a gimp for a higher purpose. He also created me to be many other things in life, less isn’t necessarily what I would call it, but I guess to an able-bodied/non-disabled person I appear to be less, so that’s ok. Those people don’t know me; they only see what they want to look at and hear what they think I am saying. The people who need my message will hear it loudly. They will be lucky if my message doesn’t hit them over the head.

Most of the time, when people finally understand what I am saying when I say, “I’m gimpy,” their new understanding hits them so hard, it profoundly affects the way they speak to me. Gone is the yelling, like I must be deaf, gone is the patronizing tone, and gone is the lack of eye contact. Guess, in a way that’s why “Hi I’m the Gimpy Paralegal™” is always the first thing I say when meeting new people. It’s a nice icebreaker because most people are already thinking about my disability anyway.

Why the gimp label?

I bet you’re sitting there thinking “okay, what does this have to do with stereotype labels and this chick calling herself a gimp?” That’s ok; I am going to tell you. Keep reading…..

Everyone is born with a label. I know these labels as God Gifts. God creates every person with his or her own sets of fabulous gifts, designed to be worn like a label. It’s this knowledge that I embrace every time I use the label The Gimpy Paralegal™ to describe myself. God allowed me to be born a gimp not to make me less than but to enable me to stand out, despite the fact I can’t always stand up. God also gave my Dad the wisdom to start calling me a gimp. I believe this all happened for a reason. I believe it happened, so when kids on the playground, would call me a gimp, I wouldn’t notice they were doing it to be mean. I also believe God is smart like that!

Society has created the derogatory meaning of many labels, but it’s a choice to use them in a derogatory way to hurt other people. All labels have a purpose, all labels can be mean, all labels can serve a positive purpose. How you listen to the words and how YOU feel about yourself often determines how your brain processes the meaning of many labels your ears hear.

Strive to Be YOU…..

Ask yourself this question: how happy have you been in your life listening to what other people have to say, about you? Are things people say about you true? Are the things people say assumptions? Have you allowed yourself to become less because of labels other people have given you?  Well, that’s bummer because it doesn’t have to be that way.  Strive to change yourself by being YOU and by finding your own label that fits.

Living in a world of labels is not a travesty; the travesty is letting society tell you what label you must wear and believing it. I know believing what other people say is easier than having the courage to be yourself and loving yourself for the awesome person God created you to be — Be Gimpy! You’ll feel better! Try it! You might discover that the labels you thought were negative possess educational value about the person you have always wanted to be!

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