Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Picking my battles

Last week I went to the local farmers market and I've decided to take a friend who never went to it with me. An elderly couple looked at my manpurse and then turned to him. "Is he with you"- they asked- "His money looks like it's about to fall out". They were not talking to me, they were talking over me. Like I wasn't even there or as if I were an object or a child. The odd thing was, I'm a few years older than my friend. But of course they didn't know that, they didn't know who we were and why we were there. My friend thought it was funny and to my surprise, I didn't care. A few years ago I would have gotten upset or have said something back, but I just rolled my eyes and rolled on to the next stand. I believe I said :"I'm fine, thank you for your concern".  I could waste a lifetime getting upset over every single thing that happens to me. I can invest a lot of time and energy correcting every single person I meet. Or I can live my life. The thing is, I really don't feel better either way. If I blow off and point it out  to them I make them feel bad. And then I get worked up over nothing. And I'm the angry one. The "unreasonable cripple". If I let it go, then I will never make an impact Often it's just not worth my nerves.  Truth of the matter is, there will always be insensitive people. I'm sure I have been insensitive to others in some scenario I don't remember just last week. It's human to be imperfect. And I'm sure I lose out either way. In situations like these, people most likely don't remember interacting with me the next day, be it when they block the only wheelchair cabin, when they give me money, if they ask me if I'm lost while I'm next to a bus pole. Unless I say something mean or point their erred ways to them they just move on. It's no big thing. To them. Yet, I'm stuck with the aftermath. How should have I behaved? Did I do the right thing? If I'm not firm enough, people don't treat me seriously. Just the other day, I pointed out to my neighbors that they should not let their dogs run loose in the complex, because if something happens they can get sued. I should know, I'm an attorney. Also, they are in breach of their lease. Their reaction was that I'm threatening them. Truth be told, I'd gladly take a case like this and people, dog owners, don't really see what could happen and how they could be liable for something they can easily correct today. But I guess, given the two evils, I'd rather be the guy people stay clear of and are afraid of than dismiss.  Being in a wheelchair I'm not that intimidating if I don't say anything and if I'm not firm enough, it just doesn't get through. But if I lose my cool I loose altogether. Let it go or be the crazy one... I'm much better at picking my battles, what I'm not yet that good at is figuring the right tone for every circumstance. So, that in the end I don't feel like I'm the one defeated.

1 comment:

  1. Those people are rediculous. I am always freaked out by the people who consider themselves to be religious (I am 80% sure they rekon themselves to any kind of these) and don't keep with the basics: "don't judge and u'd not get judged", right? By judging you they have exposed themselves to be judged for their ignorance. Let's face the reality: unfortumately this type of people is prevailing in life. When the inteligence level does not allow to comprehand, the emotion content would take over, whether it is anger, pity, fear or other sense.