We do not live in a world where all the people love and respect each other. We do live in a world where there are those that do care but sometimes it feels as if we are still a very small minority. You can’t legislate common sense or caring for your fellow human beings. You can try to instil them in your children through good parenting, schools and churches but so often there seems to be another agenda at work. I was taught to treat other people the way I would like to be treated: with respect. How difficult can that be? Is this a novel concept? No. There is so much hatred in the world that some days I despair of our ever surviving another millennium. So I try not to dwell on the whole world. I focus on the tiny part of the whole that I interact with. Even here there are aspects of the intolerance and disdain that exists in so many places. With all of that I still count myself lucky.
My parents never taught me to hate. They taught me to read, they taught me to think for myself, they taught me that our differences are what make us strong, but they never taught me to hate. People hate for all kinds of different reasons. I hate beats. Sorry I just really dislike the taste. I cannot fathom hating someone just because they are different from me. Even more unfathomable is how anyone could hate a group of people because of an ideology.
I have friends and family, neighbours and shop keepers who see me. Not the wheelchair, the woman. Is it possible that out there someone hates me? I do not know. I do know I have value and a responsibility to try to ensure that others are not dismissed, hated or abused because of something as minor as a disability. I believe hatred is a learned emotion. We can choose not to learn it. Everyone has a disability of some kind: fears, inhibitions, diseases. Mine just happens to be obvious. Is yours?