Thursday, June 20, 2013

POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE?

It has been brought to my attention that my posts may be too negative.  I have been told I shouldn't write about things that happened in my childhood. It's in the past, so move on.  People have asked if anything good ever happens to me.

Of course, positive things happen to me.  The best thing that happened to me was being able to share my blog in two online newspapers and, it goes without saying, that the best thing to happen to me was being able to publish my children's book.  I'm blessed to have neighbors who look out for me.  During a recent storm, when my power was out, my neighbor gave me a flashlight with a button that is easy to press to turn the flashlight on.  It also has a beam of light that is big and bright.  My neighbor knows I get nervous during storms.  I go to my library three days a week.  Right now, I'm am signing people up for the adult reading club at the library.  I love doing that because it is a fun way to meet people.  I enjoy eating out when I can.  Several weeks ago, I went to Jilly's Cupcake Bar and Cafe.  I had a Twisted Pink Velvet Cupcake.  I didn't know cupcakes could be so delicious.  I can't wait to go back.  Why didn't I blog about any of these things?  Because I didn't think they had a message.  

I believe our experiences make us who we are.  I write about my experiences growing up because I want people to know what it was like for disabled people before the Americans With Disabilities act was passed.  Before the word inclusion existed.  It was a time when disabled children had very few rights. It was a time when we were segregated and had very little exposure to our able-bodied peers.  I wonder sometimes, especially at the school I attended, if we were even thought of as people by some of the adults who worked there.

When I write about something you might perceive as negative or depressing, the positive message to take away from it is, I got through a tough situation, I survived and I am sill trying to make a difference and live my life the best I can. 

That’s what I want children with disabilities to know.  Life is tough, when you have a disability, but you can get through anything.  You are just as good as anyone else.  You matter.  You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  Have faith in yourself.  When people tell you that you can’t do something, don’t listen to them. Keep trying.  If you’re striving for a goal that’s mean to be, it will happen.  If it doesn’t, come up with a new goal to strive for. The important thing is to never give up. I can't think of anything more positive than that.