Fighting Back Collective: The Elie Effect

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When we talk about disability or any type of perceived limitation the word overcome is paired with any of their achievements, I overcame the challenges that came with my disability to achieve well in school, I overcame sickness and pain; to now be in rehabilitation; but did I overcome? Or did I live through? Overcoming suggests that there is a point when the challenges, the pain or the sickness, the difficulties end; but the truth is they do not, what nobody seems to get is that every morning, something reminds you of your disability; that circumstance no matter how small, is not a reality that is overcome with an end point, it is rather something, you make the choice to live through and face with grace, compassion and strength. The word overcome like all words, has a subjective meaning, you may not think my own definition is correct, but the word alone does not matter; what I want to be understood by the end of this, is simple;

challenges, difficulties, things that disable you do not cease to exist in your successes, however there power over you lessens because you have made the choice to triumph in the face of them. Disability does not have a point when it is, overcome, same with all changes; that might come to effect us. But I have made a choice, one I continue to make everyday. One you too can make. Live through, fight back, triumph.

Elie Wiesles entire family lost their lives to the hands of the Germans during World War Two, he was asked how he could remain devoid of hatred after experiencing the horrors he did, his reply follows “Very simply I have six million reasons to give up on the world, to give up on every other person, to give up on God. On faith, on Literature, on words; and in spite of that, I must have faith; in the other person. I must have faith in words and in language. I must have faith in the possibility of every human being, to remain human in spite of everything” 

The reality does not change, there is not a point when horrors subside, for Elie he will always live with the reality, that his youngest sister, mother and father entered where he did, but did not come out. But his choice and triumph was found in, there being six million reasons for hate, six million reasons for death to again win, but he rather; choosing to use his life, to be an instrument of the peace and love his childhood was devoid of. That was his great triumph. He did not overcome, he rather lives through and in spite of everything; believes in what once betrayed him. The power of the Human Condition; to do good.  That is the Elie Effect, and it is applicable to our own lives for this reason, there may be six million and forty two reasons for you to not follow your dreams or for you to remain under your duvet covers, but there is 6 million and forty three reasons for you to get up, you just have to find them; search within yourself. That is when you triumph, not always in the big successes, rather when you make the choice to try, that is your triumph. Because it is easier, to stay, to lie down but you must ask yourself, if this is my reality; that was given to me, what can I make it into, who can I be; what can I triumph against and for. That is the Elie Effect.

I do not believe I need to overcome my disability to be a person of merit; I am of the belief that my choice is simple; my condition is a constant, so is choice; will it help or hinder? My condition adds to the strength of character I have come to possess and yes it does not make me who I am, yes it does have difficulties of which I sometimes wish ceased; but my condition is something that I must live with, in a state of positivity and compassion; if I do this, I have triumphed, lived through and overcome; and I will continue to do this; because just as there is no end point to my challenges, there is no end point to my abilities in the face of a singular disability.

The Elie effect is the understanding that a view point means more than an end point, because if you see things in a light of possibility, then all will be possible for you; a view point is the beginning of your fight for your goals, beliefs, challenges and dreams.

 I began this, because I wanted things to be better for those after me; who are like me, not that I haven’t been blessed to live this life; but I do not want Corey and those like her to have to write a speech and stand up (metaphorically) to ignorance; I would rather it did not exist. But see I have come to realise something this want of mine, for ignorance to cease is the same as the word overcome; unreachable. The truth nobody ever says, is ignorance will always be active; but it can be triumphed over, in the understanding that we are all trying to live, our best lives. Corey may have challenges, like mine, different to mine, you might be going through hell now, but my writing is here; that is the light, that is the success I have written, for you. To know that you can be whoever the hell you want to be, you are of merit, as you are and you can and will come to see that those who tell you the contrast of this statement are a small weak percentage, whom have lost the view point that all things remain possible; with choice and self belief.

The Elie Effect is found in people like the person, of whom took the time out of his day to come and talk to me, it is not often I look at someone and know that they do not see me as different to them, but today I did. A lot of people who said they would be there for me have not been and that hurts, that is my six millionth reason to believe that maybe I should give up, but today in him, he was one reason to keep going and that is all you need. Sometimes you find solace, beauty and bloody wicked in the unexpected, because like Elie, believe in the power of possibility and friendship

To Jacob.


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