Perfection is a matter of perspective.
Has your perspective changed? Over the years people grow and mature (usually). Their life experiences will colour the way they see and understand the world around them. I know having a disease has changed my perspective. I have come to realize that I have to take charge of my life. I have doctors, therapist, etc. as advisors only. They have their place in my life but they are not my life. If I want to live, really live, I have to work at it. Life is not easy at any stage. But life is a gamble worth taking. If everything were easy there would not be as great a feeling of accomplishment as there can be. Let’s face it, the alternative to life is death, the end, no more curtain calls, no last chance, no one more try. I think I will stick around for a while, maybe a half century or so. I‘ve got lots to do!
Someone once asked me what the biggest challenge I have to overcome is.
Well, other people with disabilities is perhaps the biggest problem I deal with. Please don’t misunderstand; we all deal with our own personal hurdles in our own personal ways. No one can tell you how you feel. But I have a very difficult time with people who ‘put up’ with shoddy service or incorrect attitudes because they don’t want to rock the boat. THE BOAT NEEDS TO BE ROCKED!
A few years ago I tried to get into a local variety store that had a post office in it. Out front they had a mini step. It was perhaps only an inch high, but it had a sharp edge. If I had blown a tire on that mini step I would have been in very big trouble. I refused to enter the store. I would open the door and announce myself. They very correctly dealt with me on the sidewalk. I pointed out the problem and was informed that no one else had an issue with it. People came in the store in wheelchairs all the time. It was awkward as the door was heavy and that mini step a problem. When I contacted the post office I was informed that this was unconscionable. The matter would be rectified. It was not. When the gentleman from the post office found out that people with disabilities were ‘making do’ he changed his tune. The step was not fixed until more than five years later. New owners decided to do what was right as opposed to what was convenient. I shop there every chance I get and I made a point of thanking the owners for their efforts.
This situation would never have happened if everyone would speak up. We don’t have to be adversarial or aggressive but we do have to be assertive. If something is wrong let’s fix it. We shouldn’t wait around for someone else to take care of our problems. If we know how to fix it. We should speak up. This is lesson #1 on ‘How to Be a Cripple’: don’t be! We are people . . . . .with a disability. Take note and listen up.