Life's Questions

For youth frequently suspended from school.

If you will allow me to do so I want to share with you an anecdote from my life.

I have a long term physical disability. When I was a baby the ball in my left hip joint collapsed. This set me up for a life time of challenges walking.

In 2013 and 2015 I underwent surgeries to replace both of my hip joints. The recovery from hip replacement surgery assumes you have a good hip joint to steady yourself with as you do the exercises to strengthen and heal from surgery.

I didn't have this option. I was born in 1977. When I had my hip disease well meaning doctors accidentally wrecked my right hip joint in an attempt to stabilize my left hip using my right leg.

After the surgery to replace my remaining hip joint I faced an intense recovery. My only option for physiotherapy was the use of a community swimming pool. I attended the Youth and Family Swims because I wouldn't be in the way of someone swimming lengths while I did my simple exercises.

Here in Canada school finishes in June and the new school year starts in September. During the summer months I began to build friendships with many youth who would be starting grades 6 to 8 after summer vacation ended.

Three youth stopped me to talk when I arrived at the community swimming pool this evening. I asked them how their first week of school was. One of them was suspended twice.

I would like to share with you the encouragement I gave him: If you are frequently being suspended from school you are throwing away your opportunity to attend college or university and make a lot of money from your career.

At the time this conversation took place I had just completed seven months of water based physiotherapy. I had only made modest gains. Just weeks earlier the medical community told me I needed at least another 12 months of water based physiotherapy. I know what it means to work hard towards a goal. I also know how hard it is to stick something through when there isn't any immediate results.

The reason I am posting this is to ask you not to throw your life away. I want to encourage you to live out your dreams. It is ok if you need help getting your emotions or anger under control. Ask an adult you trust for help.

It is even ok if you stumble and experience a set back. Let this be a learning experience. Then dust yourself off and continue on doing your best.

I don't want to see you waste your life. There is something special and unique you are able to contribute to the world. It starts by going a day at at a time. Thank you for hearing me out.

Prepared By: Ron Piggott

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