What Do You See?

Hearing aids behind the ears while wearing a ball cap
& sunglasses on top, Long black trench coat with a bright
red scarf & black leather gloves –

Excuse me? I am right here – say hello – don’t worry I won’t bite you…

A metal chair with big wheels and bright shiny metal,
How does this person get in and out of the wheelchair?

Excuse me? Be friendly to me – I’m friendly like everyone else…

Parking in a disability spot – look, he can walk – why is he parking there?
Okay, so he can’t walk very fast – but should he have a disability spot?

Excuse me? I can’t manage stairs, among other things,
But I’m a good person…

Long white cane, tapping the pavement, back and forth,
Forward with determination – how can she get around without seeing?

Excuse me? A happy greeting from you would get you one back, too…

This guy is deformed, only with one hand, trying to get money
out of his wallet – can you believe how he’s taking forever
holding up the checkout lane?

Excuse me? Thank you for exercising your patience
as I try to do my best…

What do you see? Do you see the person – or do you
see the disability first?

Stick a pin in our finger, we all bleed the same – just like you;
When you see us, please exercise patience & gentleness,
Say hello & show compassion to anyone with a disability –

No matter what kind of disability it may be,
kindness will beget kindness…

Thank you.

Aaron Ruey
January 15, 2012
Copyright © 2012 Aaron Ruey

This was inspired by a comment I read about someone
who was being given a difficult time because they were
using a cane – I hope you enjoyed it.

15 thoughts on “What Do You See?”

  1. thanks aaron, im not the one with the cane but i still could ‘see’ every scene you depicted as if they were real, as watching a movie….a very, very ugly movie………..so sad how far ignorance can get…………….

  2. Thank you Renae. I appreciate your comments!!

    Tessa – I wasn’t trying to make this a negative poem – I was trying to bring a reaction to one’s own perspective on what he/she sees when they come upon someone with a disability – apparently the tone was negative – I wanted to illustrate the lack of concern some people in general have for others with a disability – and show the kindness of those of us with a disability. Not all people are going to treat people with a disability with disdain – but thank you for your feedback – I do appreciate it!!

  3. Hi Aaron
    I’m sorry, I didn’t make myself clear enough up above, so I apologize for that. Your poem is far, far from ugly! It is very clearly bringing forward all the different (and yes, at times ugly) reactions people have or comments people make when WE pass by, happen to park our cars, and even have to angrily discuss with those ‘smart’ ones that want to by-pass laws and such, by parking their cars in OUR spaces…Now read this: parking lot in Como, small city north of Italy, 30miles from Milan, next to border with Switzerland. Near the spots for disabled stands a sign I just LUUUUUUV: “Want my parking? Take my disability WITH IT!” Ain’t that great? I’d kiss the person that came up with it. He/She must be a GENIUS!!!
    My sis (she does the driving…for obvious reasons) told me she’ll actually print them out on her pc in order to stick’em on the windshield of every car parked illegally that she might see. And believe me, there are quite a few here….
    Enjoy your day! Bye Tessa

  4. Humor sometimes is what reaches people when other methods fail. Ugliness is the baby black swan, & we all know the swan eventually turns into a beautiful creature. I believe – in my naivete, perhaps – that we have the power, one person at a time – to take that black swan attitude and transform it gently with education – like that sign in Italy, and make the world a better place for others less fortunate.

    Thank you for your feedback, Tessa; I sure do appreciate it!

    Aaron

  5. I agree Aaron!!! Sometimes it takes PERSISTENSE. Even when someone isn’t friendly to you just smile and say hi and always reach out to them. Eventually your kindness will wear off onto them.

    Renae

  6. Oh BTW I love the spunky sign Tesse. I would love a picture of it for my collection. I some how got started taking pictures of crazy saying signs. Always a great Laugh….

  7. This is great Aaron, thanks for the perspective. Definitely all situations we have been through. I recently had a conversation with someone about invisible disabilities, which I have, and the attitude from some non-disabled people have about “parking in a disabled spot.” Had that exact experience where the guy gave me a dirty look and comment about how I wasn’t disabled because he couldn’t see it! I thought, “why does he care,” it’s not like he could park there–the blue curb is already there, anyway. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s a shame!

  8. Sarah hi! I think that guy cared just because we all (maybe not all but most) are very frustrated for some reason and throw our frustration on others by “playing police”. Lot’s of the Swiss do it, I for one, did it here in Italy too, cuz I learned from the Swiss when I lived there. Here though, it’s becoming sort of a dangerous game. You never know whether the driver is drunk and/or on drugs, carrying a knife… so I quit! 😉 Better so, cuz I was getting worse than the Swiss…hahaha ! Enjoy your day……….:D

  9. Sarah hi! I think that guy cared just because we all (maybe not all but most) are very frustrated for some reason and throw our frustration on others by “playing police”. Lot’s of the Swiss do it, I for one, did it here in Italy too, cuz I learned from the Swiss when I lived there. Here though, it’s becoming sort of a dangerous game. You never know whether the driver is drunk and/or on drugs, carrying a knife… so I quit! Better so, cuz I was getting worse than the Swiss…hahaha ! Enjoy your day………. 😀

  10. Tessa,
    I’m not sure why you cannot delete a comment you post – perhaps you need to be “higher up” where you have “erasing authority” lmao!! (just kidding to the “higher ups” lmao)

  11. Thanks Aaron, people do need to look pass the disabilites..look within the person personality and not what their disability is. Many times people don’t know I have a hearing loss tell I tell them. . Yes kindness does come with kindness.

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