"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example to others in what you say, how you live, and in your love, faith, and goodness”, is what the apostle Paul once said to Timothy, his understudy.
Experiencing any kind of prejudice can hinder growth and progress, and these words were an encouragement to dispel the fear that holds us back when we anticipate prejudice of any kind.
They are the words that come to mind when I think of sister Arrey- Echi, (https://www.worldpulse.com/user/30815/bio) the most recent World Pulse Story Award winner.
Sometimes, young people sit back because they don’t believe they have something valuable to offer. Others may sit back because of stigma of disability, ageism, racism, poverty to name a few. Arrey has not let that hold her back in her advocacy and care for Sickle cell warriors. She is blasting the walls of stigma and prejudice against people living with sickle cell through her advocacy, care kits, and the example from her own life. Besides youth, she has not let the challenges of living with a disability stop her from pushing herself to succeed and pull others up into that spirit of determination and integrity.
Arrey overcame her fear of not being able to hear her own voice, and brilliantly MC-ed for a Thriving Thursdays call, smashing yet another barrier, for life. The greatness of that moment still warms my heart today because, would you MC if you couldn't hear your own voice, and tell if you pronounced the words clearly for your audience to understand you, especially as no-native English speaker? Would you MC if you couldn't tell that people heard you, or hear their immediate feedback to what you said, and that with the added complexity of technology and an audience of more than one?
Arrey did that which she had no control over, could never have control over so brilliantly, that I felt invited into such courage, as the Nike slogan goes, to 'just do it'. Thank you, Arrey for gently prodding us towards courage by sharing yours with us!
Arrey, in the world Pulse Spirit, embodies what the Pulse wants every woman to believe-- that we can make change now, we can rise above our challenges and stigma, and anyone or anything saying differently is just noise to be ignored.
I nominate Arrey for continuously raising her voice in advocacy, for reaching out to families and children facing stigma and confusion due to sickle cell with education, medication, and care kits (https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/arrey-echi/campaign-updates/9...), for her encouragement here at World Pulse, and for working to bring down walls of prejudice and stigma for herself and others living with disabilities.
Arrey builds freedom, and it is an honor to know her, to learn from her, and grow with her.