This piece is also known as Stevie's Song and Challenge The Day. It was inspired by a man named Stevie who had Cerebral Palsy, so badly that he would stumble to where you could hear him hit the door into political or community meetings and when he spoke, which was often, you could not understand him well. People hated to listen to him and tried on numerous occasions to make those running the meetings tell him to stop speaking and coming. Amazed by his courage, l always stuck up for him. I then penned this for him and to shame the people who wished to deny him his time to speak.
As usual I have a lot to say, but for your sake I’ll try to be brief.
I know, I bring at least a smile to all your faces when I walk into
the room after all no one has ever accused me of not being able to
make an entrance, but at least I make the effort to enter.
When I speak, I know it is difficult for you to understand me.
I see the faces of confusion in the room and I sense your impatience.
You may be surprised to learn that over the years,
I have acquired a knack for recognizing these things in people.
I don’t mind you poking fun at me when I talk too long.
As you know, I do get a little carried away sometimes,
but at least I have something to say and the courage to say it.
I don’t blame you for getting tired of hearing me.
I get tired of hearing myself sometimes,
but unlike you I don’t have the option of turning away.
Some people look at me and see a handicapped person,
others may see me as being physically challenged.
Frankly, I’m not convinced of either description.
Yes, every day does pose new hurdles for me,
but with an unyielding desire to make a contribution to
and play my small role in the greater society
I think I challenge the day.
My mere presents makes each of you
aware of your own boundless potential
by constantly posing the question:
“Why can’t I....?”