Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do you think?

So you're standing in line somewhere and feeling impatient. The line has been long and you're getting tired. Maybe someone ahead is working slow or someone else is getting confused. What ever the issue you know who it is and you have something to say:

"You disabled people should get out of the way and let a real person do the job." Or maybe you're more of this line of thought, "You disabled bums should get a job and get off my taxes." Either way, you consider them a waste of space and nothing but in your way. And that person heard you, and you wanted them to. They grit their teeth and shuffle on with what ever they were doing. They don't say anything back to you but someone certainly should.

Do you think?

Do you think, as a child, when the teacher asked them what they wanted to be that disabled was the first thing they said? Do you think they said it with a great big smile because they knew it would get in your way?

Do you think they enjoy not being able to do all the things they once enjoyed? Do you know them personally and know what made them that way?

Do you think that soldier who fought for freedom celebrated that shrapnel in his head? Do you think he feels like a success story as he now muddles through his day?

Do you think that guy in the wheelchair was hoping for a roadside bomb to amputate his legs? Do you think that anyone asks to be disabled when they say their bedtime prayers?

Do you think children with down syndrome and autism somehow planned it that way? Do you really think that person would rather be disabled than gainfully employed today?

Do you think they enjoy feeling worthless and unable to do normal things? Do you really think that being on the internet is the same as doing a full time job? Because, since they can move their fingers, that means they can be hired for anything. And who will you direct them to for this magical employment? Maybe it should be you.

Especially, do you think it really helps to hear the cold and callous words of someone like you who knows nothing of what they've been through? Do you think you're helping?

I didn't write this today because of anything recent that happened with me. I wrote it because of all the times I see scorn for the disabled and more for the fact that they want awareness. The truth of the matter is, if it weren't for the people who so flippantly throw their ideas out with callous disregard and lack of knowledge, there would be no need for awareness. If it weren't for people who think that the disabled should just rot in a room somewhere (like "you")there would be no need for the parades, walks and marathons.

So next time you see someone out for awareness with their flag held high. Remember when you scorn them, that you are the reason why.