Sometimes, it’s poignant, inspiring, and irreverent messages of hope—like from Prudence Mabhena, a 21-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter who was born severely disabled and has struggled to overcome poverty and discrimination, and Talli Osbourne a.k.a. Nubs, a Canadian inspirational speaker who was born with no arms and missing bones in her legs—that remind us that genius is an inherent trait in all human beings. Our genius is our life purpose, and that treasure is not defined or confined by external, circumstantial, physical obstacles or privilege. It is unconditional.
We all, by virtue of being born, have the privilege of a purposeful, important, unique human life. We all have the very specific and essential raw material built in to weave the fabric of a life well lived, a life that is purposeful, a life that fuels happiness and well-being in ourselves and others. It serves us and others to go beyond the descriptors that come with our biography and various identities. These constructs are usually built on what has happened to us to date and often focus on the adversity, injustices, scarcity, or trauma we have experienced. Our genius, by contrast, is the treasure trove in our hearts, not the this-and-that of life to date. No matter what all has occurred, this inner core is present, potent, and remains intact. The resources within our hearts are as vast as the Universe because they are the Universe, they are the Buddha within, they are the expression of the life force inherent to all human life. In other words, it’s who we really are and who we all are.
“Disability does not mean inability!”
Together with her band, Prudence Mabhena overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and in her own voice conveys to the world that “disability does not mean inability.” Music by Prudence, the Academy Award–winning documentary by Roger Ross Williams, tells her self-empowering story. Not only does Prudence live her joy and passion but the documentary has become the cornerstone of an advocacy campaign and has been embraced by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, the U.S. State Department, and the international disability community.
Link to a clip from Music by Prudence:
Link to an interview with Roger Ross Williams, director of Music by Prudence:
“No matter what you look like, or who you are, if you love those differences and embrace your body, the world will see you as beautiful!”
People always say that it’s inner beauty that counts. And Talli Osbourne, in her inimitable brashness, says, “Bullshit!”. She travels to schools and corporations not only to advocate for the celebration of difference in a general sense but also to encourage people to really let their differences sparkle, to really love themselves. Her message to quit trying to fit in is a powerful reminder that we are not like anyone else and that’s a really good thing. Talli’s joy, conviction, and life-affirming call to action shines so far and wide that her enthusiasm for living life to its fullest, whatever that means for each one of us, is thankfully influencing a generation of Canadian children.
Link to Part 1 of Dany Lyne’s Who’s Making Waves video featuring Talli Osbourne:
Link to Part 2 of Dany Lyne’s Who’s Making Waves video featuring Talli Osbourne: