- Disabilities & the Disabled
What Do You Focus On?
If you pay attention to what those around you say, you can tell exactly what their mindsets are. Most people are focused on the negative aspects of life. I focus on life. I focus on living.
A few years ago I attended a workshop on disabilities. I was required to attend by the HR department.
The focus of the workshop was on the negative and very depressing. I was extremely tired after the 3 ½ hour workshop. It seemed to me that the workshop leader was far too interested in pointing out all of the “disabilities” available for people to claim as their own.
The next morning I said to another participant that it seemed to me that the leader wanted people to be disabled. He agreed, saying that it was the leader’s game. Disability was the leader’s game and he was looking for followers.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 600 million of the world’s 6.6 billion people are disabled. This estimate of the disabled does not include individuals who do not report, or admit, their disability. The estimate for the USA is about 50 million disabled out of a population of 330 million. These numbers are staggering and I have great difficulty believing them.
We were not given a clear, unambiguous definition for “disability”, but we were told that there are people with unseen disabilities.
Some of the examples of disabilities given by the workshop leader made no sense to me. Asthma and diabetes were two examples. These are diseases, not disabilities.
People with addictions were said to be disabled. Addictions are caused by people making bad choices. An addiction is a weakness, not a disability.
People who wear corrective eyewear were touted as disabled. Nonsense!
I challenged the workshop leader on some of this, but his mind was already made up. Remember, it’s his game and he has been leading this workshop for years.
At one point the participants were asked to choose between disabilities. Which would you prefer, chronic pain or blindness? A ridiculous exercise! I refused to participate in this thoughtless exercise. Who wants to choose a disability?
The human condition is such that many people do have health and other problems, and need medical and other assistance. Additionally, some do need long-term care. However, there are many people in the world who live happy and fulfilling lives, making positive contributions to their societies, despite their “disabilities”.
My guess is that most of the world’s “disabled” just want to get on with their lives and not have people remind them about their “disability”.
Every human being on the planet has some imperfection. We have a choice. Focus on our imperfections, or focus on the positive, on our goals and our objectives, and on life, and on living our lives to the fullest, to whatever extent we can.
And the best way we can help the “disabled” is to see them, and treat them, as “normal”, different but normal.
My focus is life. My focus is living. What is yours?