TODAY IS MY DAY
And I wasn’t even aware of it until I read one of my favorite bloggers, Dave Hingsburger, talking, as he does most days about a little story of people with a disability running into ‘normals.’
My random thoughts about my day
Even in one of my favorite tales, H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, which I’ve talked about before, in a highly dysfunctional future society which manages to continue working somehow, and where characteristics have split into the industrious but subterranean Morlocks (who keep the world working but look like trolls), and the fragile beautiful Eloi (who basically do nothing useful but tug at the Traveller’s sympathies because they are scared), there are no disabled people.
Who we are
We get ignored a lot. But worse than that, we get looked down on. We get blamed for sucking up resources and money.
Periodically someone suggests just getting rid of us all (this is called eugenics: from Wikipedia, ‘a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of a human population’).
Please do try to remember that Dr. Stephen Hawking is disabled.
We are everyone else
Do please also try to remember that humans are fragile, and each of us is one second from not being at all, and one second from becoming one of the despised disabled – and in need of all those services they considered too costly before one of them needed them.
We want to work if we can
Some of us can. Some of us try to support ourselves by our own labors (I’m not in that category; I supported myself because I had disability insurance, something everyone should consider as it is 5 times more likely to become disabled than to die during the ‘working years’).
Some of us can’t. Luck of the draw. Chaos theory and an automobile heading toward us one inch to the right (ask novelist Stephen King; or better still, read the end of On Writing, where he has detailed how a careless driver nearly removed him from your list of best-selling authors).
Some disabled people are capable of producing great work; some are capable of producing a different kind and level of work. But most of us take longer, sometimes a great deal longer, to produce that work. Slow brains or bodies make it a lot harder.
Personally, I think those who keep trying anyway – against the disdain and rudeness and downright hatred they might encounter in public spaces (yeah, that kid with Down Syndrome clearing your table at the mall is, how lovely, a target for teens who think they are somehow responsible for their own wonderfulness), are demonstrating how important it is for us as humans to contribute to our society if we can.
And yes, I’m one of those, so it does sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but today is my day, so I may be permitted a small ‘beep.’
And, of course, we are your brothers, sisters, parents, children, neighbors…
Who of us does not know someone in this category?
And which of us gets through life without?
Please celebrate with me.
We’re not different. So would the world kindly stop treating us that way?
And, if it pleases you, buy our work. It might even be created to much higher standards than you think (hence the title of this post) because it costs everything we have. Yes, you are permitted to make me go viral if you like my fiction, and yes, I am working very hard (and incredibly slowly so as to keep to those standards) on Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD.
Those who can support themselves by working would really like to do that. And those who can’t will be supported by our taxes, too. I’m good with that.
Please ignore the slightly old-fashioned tone: I have been reading Miss Manners.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Sunday, December 3, 2017