How do you react when you see someone in a wheelchair? A quick shift of the eyes away from theirs or do you acknowledge them?
A while back I wrote about treating others the way you want to be treated.
So just what should you do when you see someone in wheelchair? Or indeed anyone handicapped / disabled in any way?
My suggestion is to acknowledge them every time, without any condecsending. You will be amazed with the looks of appreciation and gratitude that you get back.
Go one step further and also acknowledge the person pushing the wheelchair. So often they get taken for granted.
Make other people feel important, show everyone that they count and raise their self esteem. And by doing so you will raise your own self esteem too.
I have a cousin who suffers from Down’s Syndrome and he is the most amazing, loving human being I know and though he is not in a wheel chair, he needs a lot of looking after. He is also genuinely funny with not an ounce of malice in him.
Many years ago, at a wedding party in India I saw a little Down’s Syndrome child dancing on the floor, splendidly resplendent in a dinner jacket and bow tie. He was a better dancer than me anyday, and I later found out that he had won awards for his dancing and music, in competitions for “normal” children.
(I did have this young musician boy’s website but a pc crash a couple of years ago meant I lost some of my historic data – and his father’s email address is no longer valid).
I went up to him, chatted and made friends. A few minutes later his mother came to me with tears in her eyes and said how much she appreciated me talking to her son, as most people just ignored him.
Maybe this was also a cultural thing, being in India, but whatever it was, it seemed the natural thing to do.
So many times we all hide our true human feelings and we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Try it today – and write back on this blog with comments about your experiences.