Wednesday, February 03, 2016

What I Am, What I Am Not

Image Description: The words 'I am OTHER' on a black background, the letters in the word 'other' are all of different colours.
Being Other:

I can be angry without being bitter.

I can be dissatisfied without being ungrateful.

I can be plainspoken without being rude.

I can be difficult without being unreasonable.

I can be tearful without being 'emotional.'

I can be frank without being disrespectful.

I am a person with a disability who lives in a world that disrepect difference.

I am a person with a disability who faces barriers, daily, to full participation.

I am a person with a disability who experiences prejudice in an uncountable number of ways.

I am a person with a disability who is expected to be an inspiration through a smiling face and a silenced voice.

I am a person with a disability whose existence is turned into a negative metaphor ... a blind eye, a deaf ear, a crippled economy, a moronic decision, a limp effort, a crazy dance.

I am a person with a disability who's body has been outlawed and who's freedom is never secure.

To make community, I must be angry at injustice.

To keep community, I must express dissatisfaction at lack of options.

To ensure community, I must be plainspoken about my needs.

To continue community, I must be difficult and steadfast in my demands.

To communicate community, I must be tearful in expressing my passon when my very life is devalued.

To mold community, I must be frank and honest about prejudice.

I am Disabled. Say The Word.

But I am not a greedy grasping, bitter, ungrateful, rude, unreasonable, emotional and disrespectful cripple.

I am not that.

What I am ...

... is an advocate for my life, for my community and for the community.

And your adjectives are not enough to counter my verbs.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave, this is beautifully written and explained. I read here always, and go away from your posts thinking differently and trying to apply your words to my life. Thank you for being you! samm in welland

Shawna Mattinson said...

Dave, your poem touched me.I love it! You and I are in the same boat and I am trying to stop that. It isn't about people who have disabilities, it's about people who have a heart... If you want to know about my personal fight/ advocacy, please check out my blog.. http://wheelsabout.blogspot.ca

Anonymous said...

Wow! Well said!!

Martin R. Lemieux said...

Incredible poem. I can relate 100% to all of it.

neethu nair said...

Dave, Thank you for so much for this great blog and it really contain good thinking and perception regarding people with disability.I totally agree your concept regarding disability.It is not a good practice to analyse individual on the basis of labeling."i am advocate for me, for my community and for the community" is the most powerful theme of your blog. It is important have to be advocate in our life. I really prefer to read your blog more and i definitely apply your theme in my career. All the best for your future work!