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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Reason to Smile- Interaction with Strangers & Offers of Assistance

What makes you smile?

Hi guys, I hope that you are well this evening and that you have found something in your life today that has really made you smile.
The thing that has made me smile today is in a way related to yesterday's post, which focused on the love and appreciation that I have for my beloved dog Barley.
On the days that I am well enough, I walk Barley in my nearby park in my electric wheelchair. This is something that I adore doing now that I am well enough, as it gives me such a wonderful sense of liberty and freedom that I am doing something that is so simple and so normal, after months and years of being unable to do such things at all. Having been in a wheelchair for a relatively short period of time of near on five years now; and having had a dog for about the same length of time- I can happily report that I have noticed that both of these factors seem to strangely draw people to talk to me so much more than they did in my life pre 2006, (which is when I had my car accident), when I would simply walk in the park sans dog and wheelchair and barely have any interaction with strangers at all!
I don't know quite what it is that makes this so, but it really does happen and happen daily; yet this is most definitely not something that I complain about and is infact something that really makes me happy and smile and feel extremely grateful.
All dog owners that I know say that this increased interaction with strangers is applicable to them too and that they notice that having a dog definitely triggers the start of conversations and friendships in their local area where they walk their pooch: I also notice that when I go out without my Barley dog, I seem to have more people talking to me than I did before I became disabled, through simply being out in my wheelchair.
Virtually all of the interaction that I have when I am out in my chair with my dog is positive and consequently restores my faith in human nature that people want to offer their help or assistance to me; however I do hear that some people are not so comfortable with this and would prefer to go about their shopping trip, dog walk or commute, without somebody offering them assistance or asking if they are ok.
Do you find that people offer you help when you are out in your chair, or with your sticks, or limp
 etc.? Do you like that, or would you rather they didn't 'bother' you? I personally can't really relate to the feeling of not liking somebody kindly offering their assistance; but then again, I've only been disabled for five years and I am a generally a chatty sort of person both now, and pre-disability- which highlights another extremely important point, that we are all different characters in life, whether we are disabled or not and if we are generally a sullen person who avoids interaction with strangers before we become disabled, then we are not naturally going to become jovial and tolerant of people stopping to ask if you are ok every two minutes, simply because you have had an illness or injury that has now made you disabled.
People's reactions to offers of help is certainly an area of discussion that I would like to return to in the very near future, but in the meantime I welcome your comments and opinions on this subject and anything else that you would like to get off yoiur chest on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  http://twitter.com/#!/DDisability    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002588247268 
I'd also love to hear on these social network pages about what makes you smile, as I personally feel that when you are facing the challenges of trying to come to terms with becoming disabled, or experiencing new twists in your illness, or infact experiencing anything that tests or challenges you in your life- then it is imperative that we do our best to focus on positive and joyful things so that we can try to avoid slipping into the holes, pits and dips of depression that naturally occur along these difficult paths in life.
Well that's what I feel anyway. What do you think?
Today, the kindness and interaction of strangers has made me smile? What has done the job for you? Please join, 'LIKE' and discuss on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  http://twitter.com/#!/DDisability    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002588247268 

1 comment:

  1. Such a nice blog. it turns out an Electric Wheelchair is became the best friend of disables. now they can also have fun just like us