I have a treatable but painful chronic condition that on occasion causes me to use crutches. On one such occasion I needed to pick up a few items from a local grocery store. As I moved about the store on my crutches, I was amazed at how many people treated me as though I were invisible.
No one seemed to notice as I hobbled along. And all those who passed me pushing shopping carts with the exception of one woman, never broke their speed. It was if they looked straight ahead and refused to see me. One man actually cut me off as I moved to make a selection from the floral section. As he passed me, he offered a flippant apology, to which I made no reply.
This experience led me to ponder how must people with permanent disabilities feel? Are they ignored when they shop as I was as they try to move from one isle to the next, only to have someone almost topple them over? Do they find, no one holds or opens doors for them?
Perhaps my situation was perceived as temporary in the minds of my fellow shoppers. If so, that perception may cause them to treat me as though I weren’t in need of patience. Call me biased but I believe anyone with a disability deserves respect and compassion. Not sympathy but compassion. I’ll be the first to say, although I live with chronic pain, I don’t want sympathy. But if you’d like to hold the door open for me, and anyone else who could use it, that would be great.
Savannah J, providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life.
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