Image Courtesy of sippakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net People who are not so able bodied can still do amazing things, and live an amazing life.
Recently, I was really fortunate, blessed and privileged to work with a few people who have mild disabilities, yet were extremely mobile. I was brought up living with someone who was not a fully able bodied person as a child. This person (unfortunately) went into a wheelchair when I was nine years of age. Who was this person? My mum. Sadly she passed away a few years later.
Despite not being able to walk, my mum was a smart person. She was able to help me with mathematics to name. She was a really switched on person.
I almost had a close call with my foot recently. I had an appointment with the Orthopaedic Surgeon at a private hospital about a lump on my right foot. I was so close to being put under the knife, and If I did consent to this, I would have been off my feet (disabled) and unable to walk for at least a few months. Luckily, my surgeon found other alternatives, and the lump has shrunk by 50% since. The extra padding on my shoes is now also alleviating the pain.
At the same time, a friend of mine was involved in a cycling accident (a few weeks ago, as at the time of writing this) and had to undergo emergency spinal surgery. He now has a rod in his spine, and has to have it there for at least six months. He has just made it into rehab, and yes he is still in hospital. Then he will be home for a while before he can return to work. I admire him for his sharp mind, and for being on the ball despite what he has just been through. He is even talking about buying a new bike as soon as he can.
I don't know about you, yet it frustrates me to see people with disabilities being bullied and/or being picked on. Never judging a book by its cover has immense relevance here. Everyone deserves respect, and people who are not able bodied are still people, still a child of God - therefore they deserve respect on this planet.
I enjoy working with all of my clients in my business, yet on one of my recent chocolate walking tours I was fortunate to have eight guests together with a staff member from a disability services organisation attend my chocolate tour. The Government had provided some funding to this organisation to fund suitable leisure and lifestyle activities for these people to attend. I am humble, they chose my chocolate tour as one of many fun activities they participate in every weekend thanks to this organisation, as well as to the department of Family & Community Services.
Although these people have what is classed as a mild disability, they were a real joy to spend three hours with. Their disabilities varied. They were happy, and wonderful to converse with. A couple could not stop saying my name every few minutes, yet I did not mind. They were alert and attentive to the treats and to the tour. Some took longer to walk than others, yet they were completely mobile.
At the start of my first chocolate presentation, there was a lovely man who offered to donate $50 to each guest on the tour from this recreational group that this particular disability services organisation puts on. He wanted them to enjoy some more chocolate. I was (regrettably) unconscious at the time as I had my businesswoman's hat on in running another chocolate tour to a tight schedule. All was well, and I believe cards were exchanged so he could make a donation to this organisation after all. Once I took my mask off, I was really grateful for this man and for his wonderful deed. It is pleasing to know that there are plenty of nice people out there.
As the tour went on, I got to know these lovely people. They have an amazing spirit of determination, respect and persistence. I loved them, and I was grateful that I was chosen to help them enjoy another Saturday morning on this leisure program they're on. They have so much fun, even more than many able bodied people. The weekend before my chocolate tour they were taken for a day out interstate, all funded.
I also learnt that they still enjoy life's luxuries such as going to all Beyonce concerts, and that many of them have partners and travel overseas. They are the happiest people I know. They openly showed me their engagement rings, and shared the stories of their respective proposals. One received an expensive necklace for her birthday, of which she wore on the tour, and another mentioned that her man proposed to her two minutes before midnight on New Years Eve last year at The Rocks. They've been together for eight years, and were friends three years prior. I can't even get my man to have lunch with me at the moment, let alone receive such abundance as these special people have received, despite their mild disability.
They're just delightful and gorgeous people. It is a pity that some of society judge them and treat them differently. Some of them have more affluent lifestyles than those who always think prosperously without any bodily issues as extreme as theirs. Unlike me, they don't need to write at least a full feature article on their leisure and lifestyle experiences afterwards like yours truly has to in exchange.
The message Don't Dis My Ability is so true. These people are smart, and they deserve to be here like all of us.
I was disabled..disabled in my mind and thoughts till I was about 24 years of age. I enjoyed jokes said / played upon people with some disability (either physical or mental). But my views changed over a period of time from sympathy to muted silence to admiration for those who struggled but overcame their minuses and kicked away their misfortunes. I have many examples of such persons.
Recently sighted one such person: Ibrahim Hamato.. an inspiration. Check out the video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDdh2439hnU