Pride and Prejudice

I recount an anecdote from my journey home yesterday in order to make an important point:

Waiting for the lift at a railway station on our way back to the car park...lift arrives with four able bodied people in at front has small suitcase on wheels. He says, ‘Can you get out of my way, I have a suitcase’. I say, ‘I am disabled,’and stand my ground. He barges past me very annoyed. ‘None of you is disabled’ I say tartly. I hope that touched each conscience.

When I first came out of hospital, an old friend, disabled for many years, told me to remember when I started going out and about again, that I had as much right to be in a street, shop or supermarket as anyone else. That is why I hold my ground. Last Christmas, in a small local shop, I was standing resting when a woman walking round found me in her way. She gave an exasperated sigh. I simply said to her, ‘You only have to say two words and I will move. They are ‘excuse me’. ‘Don’t be like that,’ she said. I thought, madam that is exactly what I will be like until you learn better manners.

On the other hand, on my holiday, despite my stick, a fellow tripper declared, ‘No one would ever know you’d had a stroke’. That’s the equivalent of saying to someone no one would know they were or whatever. We do not need pity or to be patronised.

John, you are completely right about this - your comments resonate with me. Hopefully it didn't spoil your holiday.  The problem lies with the other people - lack of education, or just basic manners - simple things, you'd think?  

I could rattle on for ages, but rest assured, that as a teacher of children with complex needs, I hope I reinforce in them, a sense of respect and consideration for others, and a willingness to be kind and helpful whenever they see an opportunity. 

Enjoy the best holiday moments, they will be great memories and motivators for the cold, dark days ahead!