Most people with disabilities do not want to be viewed as being disabled. Why? Because they are living their lives to their fullest just as every other American, they have not given up. They merely want to be viewed as equals.
On the other hand, some people want to be identified by their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, wealth, political affiliation, religious affiliation, or disability. Most do not. Most people simply want to be viewed as equal regardless of our skin color, beliefs, sexual orientation, or disability.
There is only type of disability in life and it is not being disabled, poor, or being a minority. It is using your disability, skin color, financial standing, or beliefs as an excuse. Excuses are the real disability in life. Once a person uses excuses for their problems and issues, then you can expect these same people to quit and give up trying to overcome their adversity. There is no way to overcome and achieve once a person quits. Quitters are the people that become a burden on society. People who are afraid of failure will ultimately become failures. People who are afraid to face their fears will ultimately become prey to their fears. These people have quit in the game of life, the game in which we all only receive one opportunity to make a difference. It is a shame to let this opportunity pass.
What’s even more troubling is that many disabilities are self-inflicted. Obesity, substance abuse, and poor mental attitudes lead to disabilities which could easily be overcome with life style changes. And the worst thing anyone can do once they have a disability (especially self-inflicted disabilities) is to quit and become a burden to their family and society.
So many people have come back from horrific war experiences to overcome amputation and post-traumatic stress to become successful and inspirational citizens. These are the people who inspire me. Those who overcome a disability to achieve successes are the most inspirational people.
I am not saying that all disabilities are the same and that disabled people should not collect benefits. What I am saying is that collecting benefits should not be the ultimate goal. Benefits take away incentive and make it too easy to quit. And that should not be the purpose of benefits and charities. It is great we live in a country where it is possible to obtain financial assistance, access to good healthcare, and most importantly technological advances to mitigate disabilities. This may be a starting place for people with disabilities, but it should not be the ending place.
I grew up poor, had a learning disability, was abused, and now have a chronic neurological condition (You can read my posts on Benign Fasciculation Syndrome). I have never and will never accept a handout of any kind: unemployment, disability, or charity. Most neurologists think what I have is “no big deal” because I will not die from my condition. However, living with constant muscle twitching, cramping, fatigue, pins and needles, numbness, pain, and stiffness is stressful and debilitating. Here are a few rules I live by to help me overcome my chronic disability: