8 things my brother with special needs taught me

Bushra and Sibtain

“Sibtain taught me to love my life. He has taught me to be thankful and to stop complaining because darkness leads to light… always!”

By Bushra Junejo

Sibtain is my little brother diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. That’s his basic description. The answer to the question ‘who is Sibtain?’ is much more than his diagnosis. Here are 8 things I learned from my little brother.

1. First impressions aren’t the last ones.

Lets start with a very common belief – ‘the first impression is the last one.’ Is it really? This is a belief I’ll never agree with. Sibtain taught me not to believe in such a thing. He was labeled even before people could know who he was, just because he didn’t conform to the ‘normal pathway’ designed by our society.

Next time you meet someone and their first impression doesn’t come off as good as you expected, give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are just nervous, scared or have something going on in their lives. Before giving your final verdict about anyone maybe try to know them first. My first impression sucks!! I can talk about big things only and I have no clue how to answer questions like ‘whats up?’ ‘ how are you?’ etc. So its okay if you think I am weird…I like myself this way.

Fun fact: Everyone is beautifully weird in their own way!!

2. Believe in miracles and they will happen.

Miracles are everywhere and for everyone. The person Sibtain was a few years ago isn’t the same person he is today. A few years’ back I couldn’t even imagine him having his artwork displayed at an exhibition is Washington D.C.!

Sibtain with his art work

It is said have faith and things will work out.

3. You will never receive all the answers.

We waste a part of our lives looking for answers which we never find. I did this as well. Why is Sibtain like this? Why did God choose us? Will Sibtain ever go to a normal school? So many unanswered questions!

A point came when I stopped looking for all these answers. A tiny part of me knew that I would never receive them but the major part of me was happy without these answers. Sibtain is perfect the way he is!

Similarly, we all go through times in our lives where things happen and you just stand there blank with so many questions. Trust me you will get your answers if you are meant to, otherwise unanswered questions teach us a lot about people.

4. You don’t need reasons to be kind.

My little prince charming is the nicest person I have ever met – he is so selfless and beautiful!! For sure he is the most beautiful miracle of God. And his characteristics are for sure contagious! He totally changed me as a person. In simple words he converted me into a nice person. Trust me it takes nothing at all for you to be kind to others without any reason, but it takes a whole lot of planning and plotting to act mean … which is followed by guilt. Apologize, forgive, smile and just live.

All these things are very simple, stop making a big deal out of it.

5. Selfless love is a beautiful thing.

Is there anything selfless at all? When we do something for others, don’t we all hope to get something in return? Well that’s what I believed. Sibtain changed my opinion on this. His love is totally selfless, unconditional and beautiful.

IF you can try to think of others before yourself you will see how much people are willing to have you by their sides because of how you are as a person. You will feel so good about yourself because there is this wave of peace coming from within you.

6. Stop complaining – life is great!

Sibtain taught me to love my life. He has taught me to be thankful and to stop complaining because darkness leads to light… always!

7. Think about your own mental peace and stop thinking about what other people think.

Sibtain cares about his mental peace before what others think about him. For example, he will wear his favorite kurta to a trip to beach and will continue to wear that same kurta for the next few days because that brings peace to him! I hate that kurta (LOL) but I can’t change his mind.

It seems like a small thing, but the point is your mental peace and mental health is more important than the opinion of others! If doing something makes you feel good without harming others just do it!! People will judge you? So? Do you really think they won’t judge you otherwise? If you love considering others opinion, consider the opinion of people who want what’s best for you and not those who use you as a step for their own success.

8. Be yourself

Just be yourself. Those who want to stay will stay and those who want to leave will leave no matter how hard you try to hold on to them.

These are the things I have learned from my brother Sibtain.

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Bushra and Sibtain

Bushra Junejo is from Karachi, Pakistan. She is currently working on her undergraduate degree in Psychology from SZABIST university. She wants to become a psychologist to fight against all the baseless labels people believe in today. “I truly believe everyone is beautifully weird in their own way, and differences are meant to be embraced not to be made fun of. ❤️❤️ Sibtain and I have an amazingly supportive family. We all are working together to provide Sibtain with an amazing and better future!”

In 2016, Sibtain was one of 18 artists honored in Washington D.C. by VSA as part of the 12th Annual Art Exhibit ‘Yo Soy, Je Suis, I Am the World’, in the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in Washington, D.C.

Bushra and Sibtain with Jean Kennedy Smith in Washington D.C.

Sibtain with another sister Sindhiya and Jean Kennedy-Smith in Washington D.C.

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