Stop Complaining

**This post has been edited after a problem with wording was brought to my attention**

Sorry for the long stretches of time without entries. Over the past couple of months, I really haven’t had a lot of inspiration to write. I have pictures to share, but I am still learning to use this blogging software, so haven’t had a chance to post any, but hopefully that little problem will be remedied soon.

So, now for the purpose of my post.

Maybe it’s just me. or maybe it’s just the blogs I read and Twitter feeds I follow, but I’ve been noticing a bit of a troubling pattern.

This is going to sound odd coming from someone who, herself, has a disability, but I need to say it, because it is really beginning to get under my skin.

So here’s the problem I’m having.

It seems as though an uncomfortable number of people with disabilities, at least that I’ve noticed, find it necessary to complain about every little thing.

I understand that the world is not made equal, and that people with disabilities face an uphill battle for inclusion, but is it really necessary to turn every little interaction that didn’t go the way you thought it should, into an access challenge, intentional snub of a non-disabled person or violation of basic rights situation?

could the incident have been something as simple as just someone in a rush, not really taking in the people around them, so not seeing that they blocked your pathway?

Could it be possible that not every person has seen a person in a wheelchair, or someone with a guide dog, so genuinely doesn’t understand your access needs, or proper etiquette?

Could it be possible that the restaurant you are trying to enter was built before the needs of disabled patrons was truly understood as being important?

As someone with a disability, who uses a guide dog, I would like to first, make it clear to my non-disabled readers, that not every person with a disability carries a chip on their shoulder, and not every person with a disability sees the world as a place of negativity.

Second, I’d like to ask my disabled readers to listen closely, and to thoroughly consider my next set of statements.

The world does not revolve around any one person. In order to make the world a better place for all, we need to get along. We need to remember that just because someone does not have a visible disability, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own concerns, worries or problems, that are just as important.

I know that it gets tiring to have to explain your needs several times throughout the day, and I know it gets frustrating to have to stop and answer questions and educate the public on things such as guide dogs, using a wheelchair, and why you don’t look like the other disabled person they know or saw last week, but it’s part of life, so deal with it. if you don’t like answering questions about your guide dog, then don’t choose to have one. If you don’t have time or patience to answer questions, then politely explain to the person that you are in a rush. There is absolutely no need to be rude, how else are people supposed to learn?

Finally, the non-disabled people of the world, are not out to get us, or going out of their way to make our lives difficult.

Older buildings were not equipped with ramps or elevators when they were designed because the need for this sort of stuff, wasn’t widely known at the time. If it’s possible for the store or restaurant owner to retrofit their establishment with such equipment, then they will do so, it might just take time for it to happen, or they may need someone to politely bring the need to their attention.

Also, not every individual knows someone with a disability, so not all people know what is required for equal access. Plus, they may know someone in a wheelchair, but not someone who’s blind or uses a communicating device, so wouldn’t be familiar with the difference in needs. Instead of immediately seeing this problem as an intentional attempt at barring participation, try to politely explain your needs, and try working with the other person to best accommodate your needs. There are very few people in the world who set out to intentionally hurt another, so try keeping this in mind.

I apologize for the rant, but feel it was needed. there are way too many negative people out there, so let’s try not to add to the numbers. I too have my bad days, but I try hard not to make myself or other people with a disability look bad by being rude to people who stop me with questions, or block my path, because as I said before, just because it isn’t obvious, doesn’t mean the person beside you isn’t fighting their own battle.

Comments

  1. I can’t help but think that complaining about other people’s complaints is basically like trying to divide by zero.

    Still, in all honesty, I agree with you to a point. I think a lot of times people see inequality where there is simply just, well, life. I minored in Women’s Studies for my undergraduate degree and the first class I took in that degree was a Gender Equality class. For me it was essentially How to Make my Blood Boil 101 because I would spend every class period hearing my classmates bemoan how every single thing wrong in the known universe happens to them because they’re a woman. It was like they couldn’t possibly think of any other reason or factor that contributed to these events.

    Of course, there’s definitely a middle ground between that and explaining away or justifying inequality, but it bothers me a lot when people use their minority status as a crutch. Basically, nothing gives you the right to be a jerk to someone, in my opinion. Even if the major population seems against you.

  2. Hurrah, I couldn’t agree more. We all have our challenges in life, and some are definitely harder then others, but we have to make the most of what we have. I have to say Brooke, that I have said to my friends several times, how “my friend Brooke is visually impaired, and instead of dwelling on it, she is deals with her life better then I deal with mine.” I am a complainer, and now that I’m walking around with a stroller I’m noticing every bump in the sidewalk, curb, lack of ramps, and subway stops without elevators. And I say how does someone in a wheelchair, like my mother-in-law manage, and why hasn’t this or that been improved yet! But as you say there are many reasons why things haven’t been upgraded yet, and why people are seemingly ignorant. Society has come a heck of a long way in recent years with improving equal access. And until everything is upgraded, and everyone is in the know, we should make the most of what we have now and do our best not to let it get to us.

  3. Thank you.
    I’m not disabled but I try to be good to those who are because I know that sometimes they need help. However I have had that “thrown back in my face”. I do ask first..
    Life does not owe anyone anything, disabled or abled. Yes we can make life easier now for those that need help, and so we should, it’s called community spirit and humanity. So please don’t moan at us or discrimiate against us because we are able bodied. We are all still human and I will help if I can.

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