…Always be kind to yourself; Trust in God’s strength and rise up on wings like the eagle.
Life in despair is what you would expect to people with disabilities. Life is more challenging for them because they have to do extra effort to live normally but never been considered normal by society. We can only imagine how they are crying out their frustrations in life at night and crying inside how envious they can be to those people who are living at ease. Is it just alright to have sympathetic sorrow with their situation? There is a better way to deal with them. Other’s distress and pity only make them feel at their lowest. This is not helping at all. Be a friend to them and deal like them like others. Focus on their strengths and not their disability then you can mend their broken wings inside. One person that used disability as strength is no other than Barbara Ker-Mann, the author of “Fleeing Polio on Wings like the Eagle”.
Barbara’s life breakthroughs started with her broken strings. The strings being her legs. At the age of 3, she was afflicted with polio, resulting in a lifelong disability. Instead of carrying it as a burden, it rather gave her eagle wings to keep soaring in life uncertainties. She was inspired then by this quote from the Bible:
Even those who are young grow weak;
Young men can fall exhausted.
But those who trust in the Lord for help
Will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
They will walk and not grow weak.
Isaiah 40, 30-31
From that moment on, she was given an internal strength to live her life. In this book, her heart for teaching and music was given light through her narratives being a violin teacher. It was also mentioned in the preface part of the book that supposedly the pre-publication title of this book is “Four Strings to Tune” because the violin is close to her heart. No wonder why she accomplished her Master Thesis entitled “The Suzuki Method of Teaching Violin”. She studied in Japan under the guidance of Dr. Shinichi that give value to education in the area of young children to play the violin by the mother-tongue method. It made her committed to this kind of music education when she returned to New Zealand in 1984.
As an educator, it only grows her compassion not only focused on music but also on the children’s personal growth and their parents' way of living life. She thought that publishing this book will encourage parents to keep on with their passions and interests as they are raising a child. There is no excuse to set your passion aside. In this memoir, she wants to inspire people especially the youth to think that being “different” is not a weakness nor an excuse. They will never know how your journey can make a better “difference” in this world. Everything written in this book will make sense out of her life.