Jul 18th, 2017
David Roche calls himself an inspirational humorist, who has a facial difference. The word inspiration can be viewed as a dirty word in the disability world, as many stories are told and consumed as 'inspiration porn' -inspiration calling on the bias of a person's disability. David however, provides authentic inspiration. We are automatically drawn to the difference David wears on his face, and he uses this difference to inspire us to look within ourselves to find our own inner beauty and strength.
On the Empowering Ability Podcast David tells us that, every time without fail when he orders his old-fashioned donut, and a double double coffee from Tim Hortons the server brings him back a cup of tea and no donut. When meeting someone for the first time they are completely absorbed in the visual. So absorbed that they don’t ever hear him.
When David speaks to audiences and meets people for the first time he encourages them to ask about his facial difference. He has found it as a useful strategy for him to get it out of the way. David was born with part of his mandible (lower jaw) missing, and visible swollen veins on the side of his face. By calling out his difference it allows him to clear out the space for himself, and allows him to be vulnerable and authentic.
Paraphrasing from the podcast David shares, “I have learned that everyone feels disfigured to some degree. Everyone caries a fear inside them that something is wrong with ourselves. In our western culture, everything is linked to our appearance, and women have to carry that more than men do. We all carry a little spot inside of us where fear and doubt resides - if we don’t deal with that then we are prey for the predators. I have learned how to deal with that feeling inside myself. I have learned some life lessons that you need to know, because if you don’t deal with that fear that is when the predators get you.”
For David, his face is his gift. He's had to find his beauty inside, and he feels that it is his purpose to help other people find their inner beauty.
David offers this advice to find your inner beauty:
“When you look in the mirror that is not you, that is how other people see you. So when you look in the mirror do this: don’t go looking for all your little flaws, and all the things that are wrong with you. Look in your eyes and love yourself, and smile and say good morning, and say how wonderful you are. If you look in the mirror and think that is you, you’re wrong. Because the real you is, as Jean Vanier says, love and community. The real you comes out with other people, and it comes out in the form of love. You have to find your inner George Clooney. So when you look in the mirror every morning lower your voice and say, ’Hey looking good this morning!’”
David and his wife do a program called, ‘Love At Second Sight’ about appearance and acceptance and you can watch their short film at loveatsecondsight.org. Also, if you are interested in learning more about David and his story pick up his book, ‘The Church of 80% Sincerity’.
David leaves us with his favorite quote from Jean Vanier to reflect on:
"There is a revolution going on. We are beginning to realize that everyone, every human being is important. We are beginning to see that every human being is beautiful. At the heart of this revolution are not the powerful, the wealthy or intelligent. It is people with disabilities who are showing us what is important - love, community and the freedom to be ourselves."
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Love & Respect,
Contact David Roche: Click Here
David's Book: Click Here
David's Film: loveatsecondsight.org
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