Thursday, October 6, 2011

Disability pride?

Back in 2000, I think, I was reading a website of a young man from the UK proclaiming pride of his Cerebral Palsy. I didn't understand it then and I don't understand it now. I'm well adjusted, I'm content about my life and I'm grateful for the functionality I have and I'm happy that I don't have a more advanced condition or something worse all together. But then again - "worse" seems to be just a matter of perspective and I'm sure plenty of people with other disabilities looking at me thinking "I'm glad I don't have that". Because as humans we all seem to adapt to the limits of our body, be it physical or senses impaired. I do think however that "Pride" as a word is very overused. To me, you can be proud of your accomplishments, of your roots and your history if they inspire you, but can you be "proud" of something that you didn't choose to be, something that just "is", that is not necessarily a very positive thing to be. It feels like the word we are often looking for really is "happy with oneself" or "unashamed", but I understand that after a history of being put down or brushed aside you are looking for a positive, re-enforcing, expression of something that is the exact opposite of that feeling, hence "pride". I do a lot of things differently, some things I have to do slower. Few things I can't do myself. It's not really all that fun.  But I'm used to it. This is my life and I like it. And I see how after people want to give me money when I come home at night or they pitty me for having CP although they don't know the first thing about me the impulse is to say "I'm proud of what I am". But while I'm not exactly proud of what I am, I'm proud of who I am. How my determination, my ambition, my wonderful loving family, my friends, my hard work drove me where I am today. If there's one thing I can say for myself is that I have an interesting story tell....

I think we all want to blend in and be normal, but sometimes life deals us different cards and we just have to play them....

1 comment:

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