Making do with everything you’ve got

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


 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Making do with everything you’ve got

  1. Alice Audrey

    My only objection to ANYONE working is if their efforts mean everyone else must work harder to fix what is done. Even then, if there’s any chance that someone’s work will eventually be good enough to stand on it’s own or that work doesn’t impede anyone, then I’m all for it. So, while I will never again hire my next door neighbor to edit for me, I will certainly support her house sitting business. Disability? Isn’t that another word for challenge?

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Sometimes the challenge is too large to overcome, even with the best intentions in the world.

      And the job must still be done – play work to keep someone occupied is not work, and as you noticed, may make more work for someone else. There are many jobs that are available, if the required creativity can be found.

      Lots of individual solutions. But society has to back them up.

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  2. Widdershins

    I got glared at the other day when I had the temerity to get out of our truck (parked in a disabled spot) and stand on my own two legs … then I got my stick out of the back and walked toward them with a glint in my eye that said quite clearly, “If you open your mouth I will HIT you with this very substantial metal cane.” Not that I would, (unless severely provoked) at least not physically, but my energy was very clear.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I will do the same thing – without a cane (if I could. I pop out of the car, walk around to the rear gate, and pull our the walker. So far, so good (I have CFS, and if I’m low on energy at that point, I probably would turn around and go home). Then I use the walker, and the questions seem to die down.

      But I know many people have no idea that energy will be in diminishing supply from the instant I exit the car – and parking there, using the walker, etc., merely allow me to be functional a little longer, possibly long enough to do whatever it was i came for.

      That’s one of the many irritants of having two major disabilities.

      People should just shush. If they’re sure it is an infractor after getting the whole event on their cellphones, they may send it to the DMV.

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          The walker is easier to throw in the back of the van.

          I wish I could just be completely natural about my needs, use what I require when I require it, but people are so judgmental! That spot would be theirs – and free – if these handicapped people didn’t get all those things they don’t deserve.

          If they saw it from my side – it’s not remotely capable of leveling the plalying field, but it’s a lot better than nothing – maybe they’d relax a little.

          The polite offer is: “You may have this parking spot if you’re willing to switch bodies.”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Widdershins

          Heh, heh, heh … I like that one. 😀 … Some people’s sense of entitlement is staggering sometimes. I read this quote the other day and I can’t remember where or who said it, but it went like this… ‘to the privileged, equality feels like oppression’.

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  3. marianallen

    Preach it, Sister! And I adore the elevated tone because you’ve been reading Miss Manners. She does have that effect. 😀 My favorite Miss Manners advice is to smile sweetly at someone who asks a prying question and say, “Why, how kind of you to be concerned about something that’s none of your business.”

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Sad, but true. People are apt to take their good health as some how indicating they are the favorites of the gods. I wonder how they feel when the health is removed?

      That’s way too Old Testament for me (and unfortunately of some American churches which unaccountably still exist and mistakenly call themselves Christian, and some other Fundamentalist religions).

      I believe – that God is with me through everything that comes my way, not that He’s arranging pitfalls to teach me lessons. Even if I probably need lessons.

      My perennial complaint is that once these formerly healthy people join us disabled, they are useless to us – because their former friends dump them in the same category with us (plus, as Heinlein mentioned about too many people arriving on the Moon to be educated by those already there, that there would unfortunately be a larger casualty rate) and require assistance of those of us here. Newbies are so needy.

      In an uncharitable moment I’d have the same thoughts about formerly traditionally-published authors joining us indies after being so dead set against us, but I’m not feeling excessively uncharitable right now. Again, though, newbies are so needy.

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