Let’s say you are in the grocery store and you have to grab something from the top shelf. You just routinely get up onto your toes, grab the box of cereal, and continue to shop without even thinking twice.
It’s that simple for everybody who wants that box of cereal. Right?
No. For some people, getting that box of cereal requires an internal argument, a ton of frustration, and the courage that many of us don’t have.
People with disabilities, especially ones who use a wheelchair, need someone to snag the cereal off of the shelf for them, which, other than being very frustrating, just comes down to how much trust that they have in themselves and other people.
They have to trust themselves and can’t second guess the fact that they need help. As a person with disabilities, I can’t tell you how important it is for someone in a wheelchair to think nothing of this.
If they don’t ignore the fact that most people don’t need help and they begin to lose trust and confidence in themselves, how can they reasonably expect a complete stranger to go out of their way to help them?
Look at this from this perspective — when LeBron James shoots the basketball, he always believes that the shot is good because he trusts his brain to get his body in the formation that makes it possible for the shot to go in the net, and, when I have to go up to a stranger and ask for help, I trust my brain to read the people around me and choose the right person to ask.
Once I finally decide on who to ask, I have to trust that they are going to be cooperative and do what I ask them. The difficult part of that is that there is always the possibility that they aren’t a generous person and will help, but, won’t be friendly about it.
That goes back to the opposing theories that people hang their hats on. They either state that most people are good people and want to do good things or that most people are bad people with harmful intentions.
Bring in a wheelchair forces me and many other people to come to the conclusion that the majority of people are good people. When I need help, there’s no time to have a debate over what kind of person that somebody is.
When you have a disability and part of your life is relying on others, you have learn to trust people who are sometimes strangers and then you have to trust yourself and your ability to get people to help you out.