Friday, May 09, 2014

Choose, Well, I Pray

Today we go to the airport to fly to California.

Today I am going to be required, because of my disability, to interact with a lot of people who all have different roles in me making it from the check in desk in Toronto to the curb in San Francisco.

All of those people will have several choices to make:

They can choose to make things smooth and easy or they can choose to make things difficult and cumbersome.

They can choose to treat me with respect and care or they can choose to treat me as a bother and a burden.

They can choose to act with kindness and respect or they can choose to treat me as less than human and unworthy of welcome.

I cannot choose.

That, in essence, is one of the greatest power differentials that I experience as a person who needs the help of others.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

ewwww...I know this doesn't sound positive, but all I heard was that you were taking away your own control of the situation and cloaking yourself in the role of the victim. Sure, you cannot choose THEIR responses - but you can control your actions and responses. Don't give away more than you have to Dave!! Enjoy your trip!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I hope your journey is smooth seamless and pleasant. Anonymous, even though you are right that we cannot choose what others do, being treated as a bothersome, less than human burden wears a person down regardless of their own attitude. Constantly having to fight prejudice and rejection takes a lot of energy. So I hope Dave and Joe aren't faced with those battles.

Smooth sailing guys!
Colleen.

Anonymous said...

repeat what anonymous said. Often imagination is greater than reality. If you are looking for problems, you will surely find them.

liebjabberings said...

EVERYONE needs help sometimes - and someone is almost always inconvenienced by it.

We survive and thrive anyway. I remember traveling alone to Mexico with three small children 5 and under, after I became disabled (and in the worst part of it). I took it one minute at a time - and we made it, somehow.

I wish you Bon voyage - and good things to report. And wait to hear your report on what could have been improved.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

So true and so clear how you have explained it. Thank you

Glee said...

Oh oh now I am angry at Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2. And Colleen is right.

I too am tired of being treated as a bothersome less than human burden. I am worn down with it. I am particularly angry at a close friend who I have helped a lot and who has helped me but who is treating me with irritation and impatience right now when I ask for help. He does this even tho I gave him my good vehicle in exchange for helping me. He still has the vehicle but I am now being treated badly. He is tired of helping but not tired of having the vehicle I dare say.

Life for us crips is a continuum of degradation and hurt. Yes we carry on but the cost is high. We cannot escape the fear of the contempt that people will eventually display towards us.

Bite Two said...

Power differentials suck. Most when one's on the lower end of the differential, and the person at the higher end is oblivious, or enjoys power.

As you say, you're equipped as few are to educate on that score - but you want to get on a plane, in time.

Anon., I take it you meant to offer some kind of reassurance: do you realise that your response actually sounds like "shut up"? It's really jarring.

Other Anon., it's terribly dismissive to respond to real fears as though they're groundless. Please don't.