Sunday, December 14, 2014

Empathy

I'm still using a wheelchair for long distances after the broken femur and the other day Mike and I were about to cross the street using the ramp, when a fully capable man steps in front of us and blocks it, using it for just his own comfort. This got me thinking,  "minorities" always ask for equal rights, it is a constant fight, but in that sense, that man was not wrong in using the ramp, our equal rights tells us that we both have the same right to use that ramp, to park in the preferential parking spots or just like they have approved in England, the buses reserved wheelchair user spots are no longer reserved. And all of this based on equal rights. That is what Equality means, we are all equal, so I don't have to respect your needs over mine, or you, mine over yours.

And so, why not instead of fighting to get equal rights approved, or marching for hours just to make a point on how women are the same than men, or disable kids rights are the same than any other kid, we don't work on understanding that every person has different needs and that we need to learn to be empathetic.


   Or do you think, that is a good thing that once I had to spend 2 hours in a public restroom, because the disabled one was taken by a group of girls using it to get ready for a party and because they were 3 of them they needed that spacious booth, I might not need the space because I'm not a constant wheelchair user, but sometimes, like in that case, the toilets are too low and I need the handles to help me get up, so yes, I spent 2 hours trying to get up, while those ladies were ready, looking beautiful and probably having a lot of fun at the party while I was stuck in there.

Empathy is not something that just shows up and it becomes a part of us. Empathy is taught, it's learned. You have to work hard to understand that even if your needs are important, for some others the same needs are vital.
When we get to understand that the system doesn't work and it's us who makes this place better. That's when we become a community that works for all.


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