Whenever things were going awry, veering off course, my mother would holler 'Whoa Nelly!!' This is an expression I use seldomly. I'm pretty good at riding the waves of both mis and fortune and have learned, as all adults do, to deal with disappointments philosophically. So there have only been few occasions wherein I needed 'Whoa Nelly' in my vocabulary.
Such an event happened yesterday.
As most of you know, yesterday I did up a recipe to satisfy the request of a couple of readers. I decided to just try to funny it up and use a bit of diability humour (I'm told there is no such thing .. I differ). So I put in some lame jokes (see there is disability humour) to keep things rolling along (really, see?) and I was enjoying the writing of it.
Then in the comments someone took extreme umbrage that the recipe wasn't something that was an actual adapted recipe that could be made by someone who was an amalgam of every disability that could possibly exist. Well, OK, I don't really get it, but that doesn't mean the person is wrong, nor does it mean that they shouldn't express anger or disappointment if that's how they feel. I've had a lifetime of people telling me NOT to feel in particular ways .. I'm not doing that to someone else. So be mad, that's cool. Express anger, that's cool too.
And it's a big but ...
In that comment were these words: I'm not sure where to start with how terrible this is on a blog purporting to represent disabled people ...
All I can say is WHOA NELLY!! (Thanks Mommy.)
When did I ever say anything about representing disabled people? Only one person writes this blog (that would be me) and I write this blog from my experience and my experience only. I don't claim to speak for all disabled people. I don't even claim to understand every disability issue. I write from the point of view of a guy who is in a wheelchair and who works with those who have intellectual disabilities. That's it. That's all I do.
My opinions are just my opinions.
My words are just my words.
They are no more than that. I began this blog because I wanted to write a daily piece about my life as a disabled man. I wanted to find a new voice in alongside of the voice I'd used for years. I had little expectation of finding a readership. I had little expectation of writing for more than a year.
I write because I want to. I cannot imagine trying to write something that would speak sense to every single person with a disability. If I speak to one or two people with an individual blog, I'm doing ok.
So don't grant me power I don't have.
Don't gift me with power I don't want.
But most importantly ...
Don't expect of me what I can't give.