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Monday, February 04, 2019

Just A Kid, Playing With His Friends

After the Super Bowl, (WOOO! GO PATS!) I saw a woman on a performance show, playing a violin. Took me about 60 seconds to realize she was playing with a prosthetic arm. I promise you, I did not notice. She had a pitiable story, but it had little to do with her arm, because again, I missed that part. [Pardon the pun.--ed.] Oh, awful! That was bad. You're fired! [You have fired me many times.--ed.]

Her playing was OK, but not great. On the other hand, that she's playing again is fantastic, beneficial, and right for her to do.

You might have seen the adaptive game controller commercial. I was impressed, and glad people are doing this. It's right and good to help a kid feel included. We should let each other know, in big and small ways, that we're important to one another.

It, however, was not "inspirational." It was just normal, friends and kids playing video games. That's what I saw. Re-think your pity. It's not that it never has a place. I feel pity for others. I can also acknowledge the reality of disability as defect. Otherwise, the excellence of Tom Brady, or Roger Federer, or Carl Lewis, is muted and denied. For example. But what you actually owe me, and others like me, is to see me as a peer. If we are fellow sharers in the human condition, then we can talk about what I need, what you need, and if we need to make changes. And it's on these terms and these alone, that we can acknowledge suffering and difficulty together.

When we are peers, then we can inspire one another. Without this, I am an object lesson, and no one wants that, if you think about it.

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