It’s easy to complain our circumstances. But then we meet someone like Patrick Henry Hughes, our excuses evaporate. Recently, Heather Adams, one of our directors of publicity, shared this amazing video with me.
Born without eyes and with a tightening of the joints that prevents his limbs from ever straightening, Patrick has been blind and crippled from birth. Yes, despite these “disabilities,” he was playing requests on the piano at age two. As he grew older, his musical genius became evident. Along the way, he also become an accomplished trumpet player.
As I watched this video, I jotted down three take-aways:
- Attitude is everything. Patrick doesn’t see his physical constraints as disabilities. In fact, he refers to them as abilities. Jason Fried, in his new book, Rework, says “Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.”
- Sometimes you just need a little help. The University of Louisville, where Patrick is a student, wanted him to play in the marching band. Only problem was that he couldn’t walk, let alone march. He was confined to a wheelchair. So, his dad agreed to attend all the practices and push him around the football field so Patrick could play his trumpet.
- You have to focus on what you have. Patrick says, “God made me blind and unable to walk. Big deal. He gave me the musical gifts I have and and the great opportunity I have to meet new people.” He doesn’t whine about what he doesn’t have. He is grateful for what he has. Unlike so many people today, there’s not an ounce of entitlement in his voice.
Stories like Patrick’s are inspiring. He is taking his “five loaves and two fish” and feeding a multitude with inspiration. How about you? What are you doing with what you have been given?