Even with a disability I am more able-bodied than many people today

There are all kinds of people in this world. Some will help you along the way while others will attempt to push boulders into your path. Living with a disability is not always easy. I have met the rude, uncaring types of people who watch as I struggle to open a heavy door instead of stepping in to help and I have come across 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 from a wheelchair.

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 that 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. How you respond to all that craziness though, that’s all you. Don’t let people’s wrongful, uncaring and bigoted actions cause you to stoop to their level.

Everything we go through in life becomes part of the person we are. We aren’t born with great character, integrity and honor. It’s something that is developed in us through the struggles we face, and living with a disability definitely gives us plenty of opportunities to keep working on all of it too.

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. Show them, and yourself, that even though you have a disability, you are better than they are. Your are more able-bodied than them.

Step away and leave them behind you in the dust of their own destructive chaos. Instead of wrestling with pigs, you’ll be soaring with eagles.

6 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I have found it best to go where people who help and not where they ignore or don’t bother to help me. It’s like meeting bad people, if they are bad and don’t want to change I stop seeing them. That’s the easy way out and the best way to stay out of trouble. We have ignorante drivers here that park in a handicap parking place and they don’t display a card that is issued by the disabled center and it has to be payed for. So these people are actually breaking the law when they do that.

  2. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    That look on a person’s face as they come out of that handicapped stall to a wheelchair bound person waiting oh so patiently for it…as i smile so sweetly….PRICELESS! 😊

  3. Claire
    Claire says:

    Your words are empowering – for me today especially. Today I encountered an orthopaedic consultant who had just reviewed my healed broken wrist … apparently I’ll never have the same movement in it again. Does he realise I’m still standing?!?! Your words heal – thank you Penelope.


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