At the end of January a couple of bloggers, Lizzi and Yvonne were inspired to start 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion following conversations about local and international affairs they had heard about. The campaign? To see if they could get 1000 fellow bloggers to post about compassion on the same day. It didn’t take long for a trickle of people to sign up and for that trickle to turn into a flood as people showed their compassion for the project. They wanted to help. To spread the word. To put their voice to a group and try to make it heard. And that day. That day is today.
I didn’t know what I was going to write about and this post is going up at the last-minute, to be honest. Pretty much as I do everything! But it came to me yesterday when I read another blog post, which I shall put a link to shortly. The post as I read it actually made me cry. Maybe it was partly because I’m feeling a little fragile because of my own disabilities at the minute and how much they are taking away from me but mostly because of the ignorance of the people this blogger was talking about. Her disability is completely disabling but invisible when she’s clothed.
What she talked about was the way in which she was treated by people who didn’t know she was disabled and how badly disabled, but, to be honest, how badly shouldn’t even come into it. Why are we, as humans, so goddamn judgemental? She rushes into a disabled toilet, I wait for a lift (elevator), and we are both given the rolling eye treatment. She was then also treated even more disgustingly and in front of her child.
I want to ask you, next time you see someone waiting for a lift, going into a disabled toilet, parking in a disabled space, to hold your tongue, your eye movements and just think for a minute. You don’t know this person, their life, their problems. You can’t help them, but you can show them some compassion by just letting them get on with their life the best way they can without feeling guilty about doing so. Disability isn’t always visible, but it doesn’t make it any less real.
Click the link below to see the post.
To The Woman Who Tutted at Me Using The Disabled Toilet.
I can certainly relate to this. I have a handicap parking placard but when i get in and out of my car, people do the eye roll thing; some shake their heads. They can’t see my disability so they assume there is none.
Rebecca Bradley says
It’s so frustrating isn’t it. When I was standing waiting for lifts, I would have a speech rehearsed in my head ready for the eye roll, but now my disability is visible so I don’t get it. We get so wrapped up in our own lives sometimes, we forget to actually really consider others.
Margot Kinberg says
Oh, Rebecca, last-minute or not, this is such an important and powerful post! We are often far, far too judgemental when we don’t even know a person’s situation. And that tendency too often gets in the way of being compassionate. Thanks for sharing the other post as well as your own experience. May it remind everyone not to rush to judgement.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
People need to worry about themselves. And really – worrying about which toilet someone uses?
Great message for today, Rebecca.
It makes me sad that this happens, and I’m so glad you used the example as part of the movement today, because it’s a very important message. I want to show it to the gentleman behind me in the cinema yesterday (not that I’ll ever see him again), and tell him to have a little respect. I took my Nan because she doesn’t get out much and she just had a hip replacement. This fine gentleman didn’t just roll his eyes, he tutted and groaned and made it seem as though we were put in his path just to annoy him. On the other hand, there were more than a few kind people, who weren’t as quick to judge.
Jacqui Murray says
I always imagine I’m ‘tutted’ at when I use the disabled parking. I hang my sign, but still feel guilty. Lovely post, Rebecca.
I think somewhere the sensitivity chip goes missing in us and we end up not understanding and even judging people who are differentlyabled ..It needs to change
Random Thoughts Naba..Why No One Talks About Compassion Anymore?….