During my life, I’ve met many people with disabilities, as I’m sure you did. I have felt sorry for them, I tried to help them as much as I could, I’ve expressed compassion toward them, but honestly I just realized It was NOT ENOUGH!
When did I realize it? when I –accidentally of course- was in their shoes. For the last four months I’ve lived as a person with disabilities! some of you would wonder : does having a broken leg make you a person with disabilities? and I would answer : Yes! in my opinion it does!
You are a person with disabilities when you depend completely on people for your daily routine. You are a person with disabilities when you can’t walk, when you can’t shower on your own, when you can’t get out of your room without assistance…
How does it feel? it’s really frustrating to turn from someone who was completely independent to someone who can’t move without help!
The good side about this experience is feeling the real pain, experiencing big challenges in small usual things. Now I don’t imagine how it feels to be disabled, but I know how it feels!
Even if this experience was hard and many times disappointing, I still believe it brought many good things to me as a person, and to my life. I’ve discovered that disabled people are strong, and challenges they go through their daily life make them even stronger. I became more grateful for things I used to take for granted, I’ve learned to be thankful for the small things I have in my life! And i’ve realized that life is too short, and we need to see every day as an opportunity, and take the most of it, because you never know which one will be your last!
Now to everyone I address this message : When you meet someone with disability, be very nice to them! do your best for them, for everyday they go through is a challenge. Admire them, and express your admiration to their strength! involve them in different activities, don’t put them away just because they are struggling. Give them a break from your negative attitude and judgement, instead, give them credit, give them the opportunity to unleash their potential, to forget -even for a while – their disability issues and shine!
Help them to turn their disability into strength, into ability!
The ability to live just like you do, and choose who to be, which path to take, and the strength to go for what they want!