Adam LaSalle: Bringing light to another person's darkness
Adam LaSalle has been with Dominion Energy for 14 years. He’s an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a customer account specialist in Richmond, Va. He’s also been blind since the age of 16.
“Sometimes the best way to make changes, is just to listen,” says Adam.
Read more about Adam’s story in the interview below and watch this video.
Q: What is something that people may not know about you? A: I was born in Pittsburgh in 1967 and moved to Mississippi 10 years later. In 1983, I was 16-years-old when my stepfather shot me in the head resulting in my complete blindness. Even though the bullet cut my optic nerve, it missed my brain by slightly over one millimeter. Things could be so much more tragic…
Q: What do you find is most challenging about living and working with a disability?
A: You know, it really is not that difficult being physically blind. Sure, I face challenges; but don’t we all? Mine are just different at times.
Q: What is one way that you feel your disability has been beneficial?
A: Almost every event in life can be a learning opportunity, but ONLY if we are open to seeing them as such. “There are none so blind as those who choose not to see.”—John Heywood, English writer. Being blind has blessed me with many benefits and the top three are:
- Eyesight has nothing to do with whether or not one can see with their physical eyes. Rather, genuine vision has everything to do with the status of one’s spirit.
- The trials of this world can so often paralyze and disable us by inciting fear; but we each have a choice to empower ourselves to overcome these trials by igniting the power within and around us.
- Relationships are vital and even a simple acknowledgement can mean so much to a person. A primary reason I have always loved being at Dominion Energy is that every day people say hi to me, talk to me, and just treat me as a friend.
Q: What does your typical day at Dominion Energy look like?
A: I try to always remember to focus upon the many blessings I DO have, not on what I do not have. I also try to always be a person who helps encourage and uplift others.
Q: Why did you decide to get involved with DiverseAbility?
A: I know there is such a large pool of people with disabilities who want to and can contribute positively to society. Quite often a person with a disability is more receptive and empathetic about trying to help others work through their difficulties and making a positive impact on their community.
Q: How has Dominion Energy supported you?
A: An individual with a disability recognizes that he or she is often “pushed to the side” and not included since so often people are unsure of how to connect with them, but I have always felt included at Dominion Energy. I can’t express what a joy that is! I will forever be appreciative of my friends here at Dominion Energy.
Q: What are some other ways that the company and its employees could support those with disabilities?
A: The creation of DiverseAbility is a GREAT step. I hope that through this ERG – or other vehicles – Dominion Energy will not only continue to expand its access to the disabled community; but also make the disabled community aware of how beneficial Dominion Energy can be.
Q: If you were able to give advice to others within the company with a disability what would it be?
A: Try to always put negativity aside and dwell on all that is good. Seek to grow every day and desire to build others up.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share that we have not covered?
A: I’ve learned that I am not different from anyone else. We all have handicaps or disabilities; it’s just that some peoples’ disabilities are more apparent than others. There are many people who experience significant life challenges through “invisible” traumatic handicaps, such as depression, anxiety, financial devastation, the serious injury or death of a loved one, or a devastating illness like cancer.
There is untold power in the words and actions we choose to direct toward others, we each have the ability to be an infusion of hope and healing. We can either help bring light to another person’s darkness or we can add to the breadth and depth of that darkness.