choices

Even with a disability you are full of greatness

There are all kinds of people in this world. Some will help you along the way while others will attempt to push boulders in your path. Living with a disability is not always easy. I have met the rude, uncaring type who watch as I struggle to open a heavy door rather instead of stepping in to help and the ones that choose to give me the death stare as I pull into the disabled parking spot at the grocery store only to turn away (hopefully in shame) as soon as they see me wheel my way inside.

It’s sad really, that we as a society have become such critical, judgmental, selfish and uncaring people. It can be seen everywhere you turn. You don’t have to have a visible disability or even be disabled to witness it.

So, how do you function as a person with a disability in a world that cares more for itself than others? What do you do when people are rude? Mean? Angry? Do you respond in the same way as them…rudeness for rudeness? Hate for hate? Anger for anger?

That seems like the easy way, doesn’t it? It’s easy to throw out a few hurtful words in response to someones mean-spirited actions. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

How people act is not about you – it’s all about them. You can tell a lot about a person just by watching what they do, how they act, and what they say. But how you respond, that’s all you. Don’t let people’s wrongful, uncaring and bigoted actions cause you to stoop to their level. You are better than that. I know you don’t feel like it at times, but you are.

It takes all kinds of people to teach us how to become a person of character. Character is created through the struggles we face. It’s not something we are born with.

Today, if you are met with a challenge from someone’s rude and insensitive behavior, take a deep breath, allow your emotions to calm down, then respond as a person of character rather than being just like them. You be the bigger person…the better person. Show them, and yourself, that even though you have a disability, you are better than they are. You are greatness. Your are more able-bodied than them.

Take the high road and leave them behind you in the dust of their own constructed chaos. Instead of wrestling with pigs, you’ll be soaring with eagles.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

19 replies
  1. Gisele Bechalani says:

    Parking and bathroom are the. Best. Bathroom when young ladies are trying new clothing all because the stall is bigger I love to give them the bad eye and make them feel like s***. I was once with my dear hubby in a store like Home Depot this little old lady walks up to me (I was in my wheelchair) I was then about 45 she said to me you are so Luky to be pushed around you don’t have to walk I was so out of words I could not find the words I was always taught to respect you elders Gi

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I’m pleased to see you have seen that side of life. It has been growing for a long time and there’s not much we can do but be better people to others and don’t let them take you down

  3. Margaret Peddar
    Margaret Peddar says:

    This is all true, but people with disabilities must also not judge by jumping to conclusions too early.

    That person who stands back and watches you struggle? He/she might not be rude and uncaring. I have met people who have been met with rudeness from a disabled person when offering to help – ” I can do it myself!” – I have seen it happen myself.

    A number of disabled people seem to regard offers of help as condescending and have been rude. Having MS, I know how easy it is to snap at others and often have to be careful when their attempts at helping often make it more difficult.

    If I need help I cheerfully ask for it, if there is someone nearby, before I start to struggle with that door. I have had many people saying how relieved they were that I had asked as they had held back in fear of offending because a disabled person had previously been rude to them. They have been only too eager to help, all have been friendly and no-one has been rude or uncaring to me.
    They were just unsure.

    I also have been guilty of giving the death stare to someone parking in a disabled spot, but only if they have left the car without having put up a disabled sign in the car. Surely all who have disabilities, whether obvious or invisible, use their sign when appropriate?
    There are so many designated parking spots ‘stolen’ by abled people not entitled to use them that it makes many of us so mad that we cannot help ourselves checking for the sign and glaring if there is none.

    My point is, rudeness is wrong by either ‘side’ and judgement should not be too hasty.

    • Rodger Ashton-Smith
      Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

      It double sided sword this judgment. I think asking is the way out bu for many that is hard. There are a lot of good people out there that don’t know how to help us without offending us. So as we go on living it’s good to learn new skills.

  4. Beverly Bailey
    Beverly Bailey says:

    I would hug you if I could… thank you for sharing this at exactly the right time xxx

  5. Juana Driver says:

    I’m still vertical and I know I get looks after I get out of the car. I want to apply the same respect as I see others using Handicap slots and facilities as I expect. But sometimes it is hard. I can walk and shop but need to hold unto buggy to last the challenge. Claustrophobic with some bathroom stalls lol.

  6. Joy Renzelmann
    Joy Renzelmann says:

    Not bring God in this but you have to.. If you read His words and obey him this is what He is asking all of us to do LOVE.. It took some work to let of the hurt and being it’s all about me and help me..or the best pour me.. God fills me up with so much LOVE AND KINDNESS now that it feels great to be who He created. Don’t get me wrong we all fall and have to get back up but His hand is always reaching and waiting for me or anyone.. You decide how you will see your day.. remember someone near you may have it worse and you don’t know it.. It feels great when I learn my limits and know what I can do and I can always start my day by saying I am strong and God will see me through to rejoice in the He gave me.. Prepare yourself let go of what other’s seeing and look at what you can see in yourself and that is strength and a fighter.

  7. Leah
    Leah says:

    Quite frankly, I’m so….tired of being the so-called “better” one, the constant stares are getting the “better” of me. Some, ….I’m not saying “all”, need to be put in their place on occasion. Perhaps, this puts me at their ignorant level,…but boy does it feel good!

  8. josephine regan
    josephine regan says:

    How true this is every day you will meet at least one . I think we all have got to busy in our lives there is nothing like MS to stop you in your tracks and slow down .As you said be the bigger and better person nobody knows how people are feeling or what they are going through on any day .A smile can brighten anyones day .

  9. CamnJoe Schimmel says:

    I have 2 say that some people just need a little dose of reality . I will just sit and wait for someone to get to the door then say it would nice to open up the door 4 me I have MS . Then they’re all sorry n open the door.

  10. Lauren Campbell Kovacs says:

    I needed this. The other day is Target all stalls were empty except the handicapped stall. I wait for a while and gave up and got out of my chair and used a regular stall. She walked by with no problem. I hope she felt like poop seeing my empty chair outside the stall, but I was steaming mad. Now I see I should not have been.

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