Bernardo Understands

He is born with a congenital cleft of the sternum and speech is a problem. He is always misunderstood. But this does not stop him from reaching out to others. He asserts to be understood. He does not use sign language because in his mind he speaks well. In his heart, he has the best words to speak.

At first impression, some people feel uncomfortable listening to Bernardo (not his real name). For people with little patience, it is putting so much effort to understand what Bernardo says. But he makes sense most of the time. So, people starts to open their minds and give Bernardo a chance to speak up.

Bernardo is aware of his speech difficulties. His appearance never bothered him. Knowing that he has to be understood, Bernardo ensures that his instructions to his people are clear like glass. He is very patient with their mistakes and he corrects them by showing them how to do things.

Yes, Bernardo did not limit himself with the physical constraints he was born with. He finished an engineering degree and got the license, too. He is good in his field of expertise and most of all he is a good leader. People love him because of his humility and patience.

Bernardo could not sing, obviously. But one day, he took everyone by surprise when he volunteered to sing. He went up the stage and picked out a beautiful song. He sang it from the heart and everyone in the audience was silent. Tears flowed and at the end of the song, everyone stood up in heartfelt appreciation for Bernardo. The lyrics of the song said it all. “…Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood. Miss no way it’s all good. It didn’t slow me down. Mistaken, always second guessing. Underestimated, Look I’m still around. Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel; Like you’re less than, less than perfect. Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel, Like you’re less than, less than perfect to me…” This is a very nice song by PINK.

Bernardo continues to inspire others around him. There are many rainy days in his life but the sun shines brighter after every rain. The skies get cleansed after every storm. Blue becomes bluer and the rainbow shines brightly after a heavy downpour.

Bernardo confides his hurts with me. But all these made him a better person. All the difficulties in life built his character. He sees people from a different perspective because he regards them with esteem. He seeks to understand them more than he is understood.

In life, we sometimes forget that it is easier to live simply and try to understand others than to complicate it by seeking to be understood all the time.