Saturday, August 17, 2013

Right is Right


Photo
(photo description: Ruby, a six year old girl wearing a pink stop with stars, being carried by Dave, a sixty year old man in a brown shirt wearing a gray hat, while steering his power chair.)

When we went into the theatre I didn't like the disabled seating spaces. They were way, way too close to the screen. I had everyone climb up a few stairs to the first row on that section, I then parked my chair beside the stairs, I was with the group, only slightly separate. The girls had their popcorn and their drinks and were busily eating while Mike, Marissa, Joe and I were chatting waiting for the show, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, to start. We like these outings, it's fun to all be together.

The movie began and I tensed up at part of the story line. A young teen, a cyclops, sprays himself with a magical spray so that when they go into the city, no one will be able to see his difference. Suddenly the boy's face becomes two eyed handsome. He looks at himself with curiosity and wants to know, from the others, how he looks. He is, then, of course, accepted by those in the community. I didn't like this - though I knew that what he said was true. He told of being in the wood and spotted by campers who reacted to him with horror and fear. He was tired of being treated as a dangerous monster. The new look saved him from all that.

I don't want Ruby and Sadie to equate difference with deviance and danger. They don't now but as they get older messages like the one on the screen will creep more and more into their awareness. These kids are remarkable around difference, they don't stare at people who are different, they don't seem to do much more than notice and sometimes ask a question. That's it. What was this movie saying to them? All of this was going on in my head, interrupting the story for me. I pushed it aside and moved on.

As the movie played Ruby left her seat and came up to sit on the barrier between where they were and where I was. It was like a big fence with a top rail and a middle rail. She sat on the middle rail, her feet dangling. Now she was virtually beside me and I was able to watch her watch the film. She was right into it, enjoying it.

Then, wham, the magic mist wears off. The young teen's face returns to his normal, two eyes became one. Ruby said to herself, with relief, "Finally he looks right again." She watched as he took the bottle of magic spray out to spray himself again and she whispered under her breath, "don't." The bottle was empty, the movie continued with him being a cyclops throughout.

I am often proud of who these girls are becoming, proud of knowing them, proud of seeing them grow into caring girls who accept diversity simply because it 'seems right'.

I was talking to Mike about this and he said that he had heard Ruby say what she said and whispered to Marissa, "Dave will like that!"

And I did.

She knew that right was who he was, not who others thought he should be.

When she's right, she's right.

Cyclops Pride at the AMC!!

15 comments:

theknapper said...

Yeah!!!!!!Wish more kids and adults would be so wise.

Glee said...

Ruby is excellent. Be proud Dave :)

Sue Marranconi said...

Its wonderful that Ruby realized also that you would like that. It shows that you have influenced her thinking and because of that she is able to see the world in a new and better perspective! Great story.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Wouln't the world be different if everyone thought like Ruby?

Dave Hingsburger said...

I think that Ruby and Sadie's parents have intentionally support their kids in honouring difference. They are the one's who made this possible.

Beth Gallagher said...

That is a great story. Perfect illustration about children getting it from birth and the adults ruin all that for them. We need to get out of their way and let them lead the world.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how impressive.

CapriUni said...

I saw the first Percy Jackson movie a couple of years ago, because I'm a fan of the old Greek myths...

And I was horrified by the way physical disability was depicted in the film. Two characters: Percy's best friend satyr and Chiron the centaur used forearm crutches and a motor wheelchair respectively to hide the non-human parts of their bodies. But there were no genuinely disabled people in the story, who used adaptive technology as legitimate tools.

When the lights came up, and we left the theater, a girl (maybe a little older than Ruby) saw my motor chair, and her eyes got really wide... I worried/wondered about how long after that would that young person look at a disabled person and wonder what they were hiding....

The ironic thing is that all the promotional material I read afterward said the author came up with this story idea, to help his son feel better about having Aspergers Syndrome. But all the people with disabilities that I know have no wish to be demigods -- they just want to be seen as human.

Fragments said...

Fantastic!! Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story with us & thank you for ALL of your fabulous posts :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks dave .. made my day ..Mike

Kristine said...

I just love Ruby stories! What a cool kid! :)

Reminds me of Beauty and the Beast... Any of us who were little girls when the Disney version came out will tell you how disappointed we were when the beast turned back into a prince. He was "right" as the beast... and so much hotter. ;)

Belinda said...

Ruby amazes me.

B. said...

Thanks again, Dave. I'm glad I found you.

Deb said...

If only we could teach the entire world to be so accepting of difference. Maybe these little children will lead them. I see it here (in Calgary) every time I'm out. The kids seem to accept the differences, despite all the horrific bullying stories we hear. It's the older people who have trouble with difference and less than perfection. So there's hope for the young Dave. Ruby shows us that.

Clairesmum said...

Ruby knows. Sadie is likely to learn, too. You and Joe have helped them to know. Mike and Marissa probably know, too. Know what? That being your own true self, and accepting your own unique self and everyone else's own true self, is the essence of love and the basis of joy. Blessings of the universe to you all.