In the 80’s it was handicapped, in the 90’s disabled, in the new millennium we have been branded as physically challenged. Sometimes I wonder who comes up with these labels and why they have to change each decade when our disability doesn’t.
Why should we be grouped together and given a label when our ailments differ sometimes so greatly. Take an amputee and a mentally retarded person. What is the relationship between the two? But yet they are lumped together under the umbrella of handicapped, excuse me, disabled or should I say challenged persons. Challenged, huh? Who is challenging us? The ‘non-challenged’ people? Are we even aware that we are being challenged?
I see this new label as a challenge and I shall prevail. I am going to:
a) Take that step even when my muscles are crying in agony.
b) Read Jane Eyre even though I am dyslexic and the words get mixed up in my mind.
c) Climb Mt Everest even though I am limbless.
d) Become a doctor even though I am mentally retarded.
What about you? Are you going to triumph and put them to shame? Those who said you’ll be a liability rather than an asset. Those who advised that you be put in special homes, separated from your families.
I believe you can, because one thing we all have in common is our inner strength, we are all survivors. The real question is are we willing to toil and sacrifice to triumph or are we going to wallow in the well of self-pity and not get off our behind and accomplish something with our lives.
Self-pity is good when indulged in sparingly for short periods of time; lets say a total of twelve hours in a year. Anything more than that is silly and a waste of time, you have things to do, money to make, what are you doing wasting time on ‘oh miserable miserable me’ or ‘why me’ moaning. When you begin to ask ‘why me’ I’d like you to in the same breath ask ‘why not you? Why somebody else?’
Let’s challenge our challengers by triumphing over our individual Herculean tasks and see what label they’ll come up with for us in the next decade.
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