Karni Liddell is one of Australia’s most successful and well-respected Paralympic swimmers – and has reached the heights she has, because her parents started her on a ‘crazy’ self-invented rehabilitation program when she was a child, after she was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
But in her talk at TEDxSouthBankWomen (where Tracey Spicer delivered her recent viral talk), Karni says she realised something about herself.
When parents say that ‘all they want is a healthy baby’ – they mean babies not like her.
Her message is so thought-provoking.
So, let’s break it down:
At 2.15 she talks about how common disability is in our society.
At 3.50 she asks why it’s okay for disability to count as an automatic ‘reduction’.
At 4.30, she says that the most harmful thing we can do for ourselves is a ‘quest for normalcy, hunger for perfection’
At 6.00, she talks about focussing on the things we can control in life – not those we can’t.
At 13.50 she concludes a moving personal story, and reveals what’s the greatest gift you can give someone.
At 14.45, she urges us all to think about the language we use every day. “Saying all you want is a happy child, will not decrease your chances of having a healthy child.”
What kind of baby would you ask for?