Monday, September 19, 2016
The recent Paralympic Games have reminded us very well just how much is possible even with what we call a disability.
Many people have experienced things that have left them in a less than perfect way, In some cases this is clearly visible and easy to see. We compare ourselves to them and if we have all our limbs we look at them as though they be missing something that we have.
Yet not all situations that leave us less than able can be seen.
Stroke, brain injury from accidents or other causes. Kidney or liver problems, cancer, mental health problems are just some things we can face that may not show and yet leave us unable to do all that some others can do.
Even with everything working, we are all different.
Some are good at communicating. Some are not. Some are good at maths while others of us don't process well that way or never really got the knack.
While technology is improving the abilities of those of us who have been faced with loss of a limb and given back mobility in a way that was once impossible we still look for differences instead of how we are alike.
The recent interest in Steampunk is fascinating as it looks back to the steam era and imagines a future work born of mechanics and clockwork. The images that are created as a fashion statement don't seek to hide difference but rather to enhance and make a feature of it.
So we move into a new time where jobs are still stuck in many cases much like in Victorian times even though technology has long moved on. We are capable of doing much more with less and yet we have people with disabilities trying to fit into a system that pretends to need traditional working habits of full time employment, even as the workforce is casualized and benefits denied to those who are willing and able to work full time and in fact would prefer that. At the same time, those who would like a more flexible arrangement are seen as being 'inferior' in some way from an employment point of view.
Instead of looking for differences from the norm, perhaps it is time to review what we consider to be "normal". The definition that we are using seems to me to be out of date and less than useful in the current environment.
Disabled, or not disabled the same things apply to us all.
We need to feel useful. We need to have something that satisfies our need for purposeful living. We need to be able earn money and to fit a life around our working hours.
We need encouragement when things don't go to plan. When life doesn't work out the way we hoped. Or when other stuff just gets in the way of us operating at full capacity.
Do you need some encouragement?
Do you know someone else who could use some?
You probably do, though you may not have heard it from them.
We all need something to hope for. Something to push ourselves a little bit harder to achieve. Not because someone else expects it but because we do.
And that takes a certain amount of confidence to believe that we do - even though we may be less than perfect - deserve that.
Everyone is entitled to make some plans. Big plans, or small plans, it doesn't matter. Just put it out there in your future and set some memories of things that have not happened yet, that you want to reach.
Celebrate your difference.
Adding choices to life
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