Monday, December 13, 2010

Think Before you Speak

Image Credit: What Not to Do ©StillSearc 
I said I would share some of the dumbest things I've been told concerning my disability. So, here they are:

"I'd like to be out of school for three months...but not because of surgery of course."

[in reference to my wheelchair] "You don't need legs do you?"

"You have it easy because you get to leave Chemistry early." I responded by saying, "No, I actually don't. I have to work harder to make sure I have all of my work done because I leave early."

"You must be the teacher's pet because you get to leave lunch early." I had to leave class and lunch early to avoid the crowds. Because of the hardware in my hips, if I fell, it could cause serious damage.

"You must be the Queen of Sheba! You have the best desk and chair in the classroom." I had a desk and chair because of my back pain. All of the other students had those small desks. (This was actually pretty funny).

As I was walking to lunch in elementary school, a boy suddenly turned around as he mimicked me. "This is what you look like when you walk. A duck!"

I'm adding another one that my mom reminded me of. A random lady came up to us while we were shopping in Wal-M@rt and said, "You're just being lazy using that electric scooter." My mom told her that I actually needed that because I couldn't walk long distances. She laughed and said, "I was just joking." A Wal-M@rt employee overheard the conversation and told her that if they didn't think I needed it, they wouldn't let me use it. The employee also told her she was extremely rude.

Louise reminded me of something in her comment. I can't expect anyone to understand what I'm going through because they have never been in my shoes. They can only relate to what they've experienced. This post is mainly a reminder to everyone (including myself) to think about things before we say things. Words have the power to encourage, but they can also be incredibly hurtful. My mom always taught me to give everyone the respect that I would want given to me. I always welcome questions from people (even strangers) because I want people to know it's okay to ask questions. I just wish people would be more respectful of one another. It really is an uncommon thing these days.


ShannonDBR said...

People are stupid. If only they knew.

My favorite is "That looks like fun. To which I respond, "It may be fun for you bc when your done, you can get up & walk away - I can't. I would give anything to be able to walk away."

They rarely have something to say after that.

Madison said...

Yes, Shannon if they only knew.

When the girl said I must be a teacher's pet because I get to leave lunch early, I explained to her why I had to leave early and she still didn't get it.

I said, "If you think I get special treatment, I will be glad to trade with you. But, that means you get my crutches (which was before I was in the wheelchair), braces, and everything that goes with my life." She said, "Oh, I was just kidding. I didn't mean that."

Needless to say, she never said anything else.

Adori Graphics said...

Seriously people say the most stupid things sometimes. I don't suppose you can blame them for really not GETTING it, but it doesn't take much to think before you speak. It's one thing thinking or not understanding something and another thing entirely saying it. Kids can be cruel nd thoughtless especially when it comes to disabilities, but for adults I think there's no excuse.

Madison said...

I agree, Louise. I can't expect people to understand what I go through because they have never been in my shoes. I've learned to ignore most people. Sadly, one of these comments was made by an adult.

Barbara said...

I agree, no excuse when it comes to adults. We have so many more tools than children do... and most of the time, it will be a child who will have the courage to come up to you and inquire about what they see or don't understand, instead of being flat out rude just because they have a hard time grasping what they're seeing or because what they're seeing makes them uncomfortable. Its always great to know that the issue is with them and not with you.