The Stereotype Of Paraplegics – Socially Unaccepted, Forever Accepted By God

Posted on December 4, 2013

Today’s post is by SBACFL member and guest blogger, Nicole Small.  This is her third guest post.



Growing up, I often wondered what I would become when I matured into an adult, because during my childhood, I rarely saw people like me in public. I thought it might be the specific circumstances of my being at a particular place at a particular time.  But then I would go back to these various places (restaurants, movie theaters, etc), and still wouldn’t see anyone like me, who had to deal with a disability. This made me think…”Is it because people just find it difficult to go out into the world and face the obstacles caused by their specific disability?  Or is it because they are afraid of the stares and rejection that they would face from society?” I would very much agree  that people in my situation find it very difficult to be socially accepted in today’s world. Do I fault those people who glance at me with a puzzled look upon their faces? No, because they don’t know what it’s like to be me. The only person who know what it is like to be disabled, is obviously the disabled person themselves and their family and friends. Growing up, I would have jumped at the chance to educate those people who were too scared to ask what was wrong with me. Being asked that question would have opened up a line of communication and an opportunity for them to learn something new about someone they had never met before. During my childhood, it was very hard to deal with the stares from strangers because even I was trying to figure myself out.  I always knew I was different from my peers; I couldn’t run onto the playground during recess or do specific activities during PE.  I learned to become at peace with this because I knew I was made this way for a specific reason.  It has taken me 24 years to figure out how to deal with what I was given, because I had to deal with more than my disability  and everything that came with it.   I also had to deal with everyone around me, who didn’t know me or what my capabilities were. They just saw a little girl in a wheelchair, and thought I was hopeless and helpless and would stay that way for the rest of my life.

 I am here to tell you not to believe what people think of you if they don’t know anything about your personal life.  If they have no value in your life, then their opinion or what they think of you should be of no value to you!  Just brush it off and go on your way, because “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”  God surrounds us with people who understand us, and also puts people in our path to whom we can teach something new. We are the only person who can fulfill that job for Him. God puts each person on this Earth for a specific reason!  He has a plan for each of us, though it may take some time to come to terms with what our mission in life is. I feel that God’s mission for me in life, is to help others who are like me.
 My challenge to all of you in this next year, is to take a few minutes each day to reach out to someone you don’t know, or know well, and share something about yourself with them. It only takes minutes to make an impression on someone, and that impression can make a world of difference in their day, or even their life. Make it a positive difference by putting a smile on someone’s face. Even though they haven’t said so verbally, we never know who may be having a difficult day and really need us!

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