Super Able

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Some years ago I saw this TED Talk by Aimee Mullins – an athlete, model, actress (she played Eleven’s mom on Stranger Things!) and double amputee – about how what might be seen as weaknesses are actually gateways to strength. She talks about it in terms of her prostheses, how her “disability” becomes akin to a superpower when addressed with art, whimsy and technology. She gets to choose when her legs make her faster, make her taller, or make her a work of art (like the above, a prosthesis made by the Alternative Limb Project). My mother, an elementary school art teacher, is fond of saying that a mistake can become a masterpiece. I’d like to take that a step further, and say that sometimes, perhaps even most times, “mistakes” are actually gateways. The trick is learning how to step through them.

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