In quest for a significant influence in their life, people travel the world, listen to motivational speakers, and often read endless books about achievements of people like the remarkable Queen Rania of Jordan. Like the multifarious people of past and future generations, I have also taken these prevalent measures by also reading inspirational books, exploring different countries, and listening attentively to motivational speakers. Unlike many, who have not had the privilege of having a boy with Down syndrome impact their lives, I have. It was not until I had grown up and reflected on my personality, the things that I stand up for, the qualities that I have developed, the challenges that I endure, that I realized that all of that was significantly influenced by my brother with Down syndrome named Zaid.
As a boy with Down syndrome, Zaid has never let his cognitive delays get in his way. He has dealt with every academic challenge he faces with an inspiring good attitude that has taught me to never let any obstacle define me or get in my way. At school, Zaid reads and solves math problems at a slower rate than most students. Zaid does not let that intimidate him, he keeps enduring his struggles, does not complain, and keeps that pencil going. Zaid has taught me that although some progress may come slow to certain people but not others, it will still put us ahead of capable people who give up and do not even attempt to progress.
Zaid also never lets his stuttering issue get in the way of learning English and Arabic. Arabic is one of the hardest languages to learn, but impressively enough, Zaid speaks it as well as I do. Zaid does not let his struggles define him, but his persistence to strive academically, no matter how strenuous the task might be, speaks for itself. I believe that Zaid’s ability to persist through the hardest situations comes from his ability to find the humor in serious situations. Although Zaid has had to repeat grades, and stay in middle school longer to learn effectively, he jokes that he got his PhD there and could start teaching the students himself. Zaid has taught me that a learning disability is not really a disability; the real disability is when people give up easily, have negative mindsets, and do not endure their struggles. He has taught me how to deal with struggles, overcome obstacles, and has inspired me to reach the highest goals through dedication, hard work, and a positive attitude. He influences me to strive to be exceptional and constantly seek self improvement, Zaid has brought out the best in me due to the life lessons he has taught me.