I Don’t Like It

August 26, 2016

You know what?

I don’t like the stereotype associated with people in wheelchairs.

But it’s earned.

The wheelchair stereotype is the embodiment of the victim mentality.

A disproportionate percentage of the “chaired” population look and act pitiful. A disproportionate percentage of people in wheelchairs are whiners.

It’s okay to notice that, it’s true.

But here’s the thing – I refuse to be a victim of that stereotype.

Sure, there are people who prejudge me because I’m in a chair. But so what? That’s life. We naturally profile people (and animals) as part of our survival and self-preservation instinct. We learn from observing patterns. Of course there are exceptions, but stereotypes exist for a reason.

Instead of letting it depress me and instead of blaming the stereotype for some lost opportunities, I choose to see it as a challenge and an opportunity (it is a choice).

So I go out of my way to never look, act, or sound pitiful. I don’t whine, and I don’t play the victim. I never want to be the typical “handicapped guy.”

And that’s had positive results. When I demonstrate even just a bit of competence, independence, normalcy, humor, or positivity, people are amazed. They don’t expect it so I “stand” out.

But here’s the best part: by not allowing myself to look, act, or think like a victim, I see all the great things in life.

I don’t focus on the hard or the unfair, I revel in the magnificent!

It’s the best choice I’ve ever made.

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