Seanan McGuire (seanan_mcguire) wrote,
Seanan McGuire
seanan_mcguire

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On empathy.

To the woman who made nasty comments about my "turning radius" when I had to move my electric scooter in front of Big Thunder Mountain; to the person who let their children sit on the ground with their hands pressed against my wheels, and scowled when I said this wasn't safe; to the people who stood on curb cuts and glared when asked, politely, if they would let me pass; to the man who snickered and murmured about lazy bitches when I drove by at Typhoon Lagoon; to everyone who sighed and rolled their eyes when a bus had to be lowered to load me on:

I do not wish you my experience. I do not wish you injury or handicap, however temporary. I do not wish you pain. I do not wish you the soul-bruising frustration of being limited by a body that refuses to listen to your commands, or the salt in the wound that is knowing you did nothing to deserve this: that you didn't injure yourself running a marathon or rock-climbing, but instead fell prey to something that can strike anyone, at any time, for any reason. I do not wish you years spent sedentary, watching your friends rush by able-bodied and healthy, and struggling not to resent them for it.

Instead, I wish you empathy.

I wish for a future where you can look at someone using an assistance device, whether it be a cane, a wheelchair, or a motorized scooter, and think "isn't it wonderful how we live in a world where this person can have the same experiences I do."

I wish for a time where you can see someone using a motorized scooter to enjoy something as large as Disney World and think "isn't that person kind, to spare their friends and family the effort of pushing a manual wheelchair around this huge place, just so that they don't have to experience the nerve-racking stress of navigating something so large and potentially dangerous through a crowd."

I wish for a society where you can listen to simple, necessary requests and hear, not an inconvenience, but a leveling out of a certain small imbalance in the world.

I wish for a place where you can see a wheelchair user sitting to watch a parade and not think "great, let's stand in front of them, that's open space," but instead "isn't it lovely how we can all get a good view."

I am not asking for special privileges. I am not asking to go to the head of the line just because my left foot doesn't work sometimes.

All I am asking is to be allowed, unjudged and unresented, to join the line at all.

Thank you.
Tags: cranky blonde is cranky, depression, disney girl, medical fu
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