You know how people open the refrigerator, bask in its light, cool air wafting over them, and stare? Come on, keep it real, guys. I especially do this at night. As if a certain amount of staring is going to will more food to sprout amongst the shelves.
Well, I have a similar theory with disabled folks. Remember that high cereal box you really needed to grab in the grocery store? Maybe if we stare long enough, we’ll create a beam of condensed energy that will safely shuttle the cardboard box from the shelf and into our hungering arms. Or how many of you have done this – look around at lower shelves and hope that maybe an identical box got mixed up down there where we can reach. Sometimes I’ve been lucky with that tactic.
But most times?
That box isn’t going anywhere.
Now, you have two options. Leave without the cereal. Or ask for help.
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Both such terrible choices, aren’t there? Both such unimaginable fates.
Listen. I know. I know how much sweat and heavy breathing and grunts go into everyday living when independence and dignity are more revered to us than to anyone else. I know that sometimes, after using every strategy – whacking off the cereal with a stick (tried that), bumping into the shelf to make it fall like inside of a vending machine (and praying the cliché store-shelf-domino-effect doesn’t become a reality), or even checking the front of the store for a shorter display of the item….when all is for naught, asking for help seems like the official mark of failure.
I am here before you to preach the opposite. Asking for help is a powerful tool of victory in the heart and strength of everyone championing through life with a handicap.
Drill this truth into your neuromuscular/epileptic/downright crazy skull:
Asking for help is not someone else’s gift to you, but your gift to someone else.
Do you even fathom for one minute at the fact that millions of people go through life seeking worth and identity? We are blessed with the fact that we do stand out. Who do all Disney characters in Disneyworld come over to first? Who always gets thrown the T-Shirt at ball games? We are fortunate in that we do not have to fight for our uniqueness.
By garnering the courage to approach someone –yes, even a stranger – and asking for help, you are making that person feel good for at least sixty seconds of their life. For that minute, you are giving them worth, purpose, a chance to renew their faith in THEMSELVES.
In a dark and frightening world, that one minute, guys? That minute could save a life.
You have power. Damn it, you have more power than anyone in that grocery store. Grab that freaking Captain Crunch and ask for help taking it to the register.
Trust your fellow human beings. It’s because of them that I’m upright and writing as I am. Trust your human family.
Shea C. Megale