I hate to start my second post on a negative note, but I saw something on Facebook today that really bothered me. Something that one of my friends posted. Something that pretty much sums up why I’m writing this blog.
A friend posted this photo on Facebook that he had taken himself. The caption said “Does anyone else see something wrong with this pic, or is it just me?” It took me a minute to understand. Because all I saw was a really cool car parked in a handi — Oh. I teetered back and forth for a minute about whether or not to say something. After all, I wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Or hurt anyone’s feelings. Or embarrass anyone. As I thought these things I realized that I myself was feeling a little offended, hurt; embarrassed. Stay with me – I’m not endorsing an eye for an eye – but I figured he could use a little enlightenment. Otherwise, he and his friends that saw his post might go on forever thinking it was ok to be so close-minded and judgmental. So I posted this comment:
“No offense dude, but I’m handicap and I park in handicap spaces. Doesn’t mean I don’t like cool cars. Also doesn’t mean I couldn’t have a good job to pay for a cool car. Just sayin.”
It kind of infuriates me that anyone would think anything beyond ‘Wow, that is a nice car.’ Seriously, like since I’m handicap I can only drive an Impala? FYI: Having handicap plates does not mean you don’t have a job. It means you’re handicap. The owner of that car could be a successful lawyer or a doctor and have millions. And for those of you assuming that the owner doesn’t have a job and is on Social Security Disability; the amount you are paid monthly from disability is directly related to the amount you paid into it while you were working. So this person could have been a doctor or lawyer, would have paid a bunch into Social Security (automatically deducted as a percentage from your paycheck just like taxes), and then become unable to work. Maybe his grandmother died and he inherited millions. There are a million scenarios in which a handicap person could be the rightful owner of this car, and it’s unfair to think otherwise. I realize it could also be a lazy bum working the system, but why is that the automatic assumption? I know more non-handicap people working the system than I can count on two hands. You know how many handicap people I know who are working the system? Zero.
I’ll refer to my friend as AJ. AJ hasn’t commented back on what I said, so I don’t know if he changed his mind, but I hope so. Based on the comments from his other friends, I don’t think they read my comment. I did get a couple ‘Likes’ from mutual friends, so hopefully my words are getting somewhere. AJ, if you read this someday, I hope you know my intention is not to make you feel bad. I realize that you are a good guy who had a lapse in judgment. I know a thing or two about lapses in judgment. My intention is only to change the world’s mind on people who have a disability. One mind at a time.