Recently I received this message from my friend, Sarah, who asked me to pass it on.

Respect

My name is Sarah and I am in my early 40’s. I have Multiple Sclerosis which has, as of the last year and a bit, stopped my legs below the knees working very well, so I have to use a wheelchair to get around these days.  You would think others would be helpful but no people apart from family and friends and a FEW others are. These are common reactions I receive from most people: fear (ignoring or trying to avoid me like I have something contagious), the assumption that because I’m in a wheelchair, it must mean I’m a moron (how strange – who really is the moron?), and a weird condescending pity that I am in this situation. (Why is that even considered to be an OK reaction?)

Everyone has different troubles. Being in a wheelchair is just one of many problems. However attitude is key. A good one despite your difficulties makes things so much easier to face.  And having people around you with an honest open attitude helps too.  And it sure would be nice to be respected for living with daily difficulty. After all, it’s how wisdom increases.

Nerve axon with myelin sheath

Nerve axon with myelin sheath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)