Walk In Their Shoes

Channel 17Ted Turner lived next door to an elementary school buddy of mine when Ted acquired Channel 17. We still had a black and white television without an UHF dial so I had no idea what Greg and my other buddies were talking about when asking me if I saw Speed Racer. Ted is a modern day visionary, but I have to wonder in his goal to change how the world watched the news if he ever imagined a society that would make lightening fast judgments from sound bites of incomplete information?

My post Friday inspired someone that day to walk up to Carey’s mother and rudely interrogate her with questions like “Why are Carey and David begging for money? To pay for the barn?” To you Judge Judy voyeurs, the barn is paid for, The Hitching Post was a business I ran independently with the exception of two bridal shows and our mortgage is less than what I was paying for a house in Clayton County. Satisfied? Likely not. At least my blog is being read! Twenty-four countries in its second month, unfortunately I suspect mostly spammers

Why do I regress? Personally, I do not care what some woman void of manners thinks of me or what anyone thinks of me, but it hurt Carey, that I cannot let pass without addressing. On a larger scale in our instantaneous world, it has become too easy to spew hatred, jealousy and unbelievable cruelty to vast numbers with a click. That does not speak well of human beings. What a refreshing change if print and television news were uplifting stories, because there was nothing negative to report, if the feed on facebook was mostly people recounting experiences of kindness someone had done for them?

ALS has been a blessing for me in the sense it made me slow down and see the world from a different perspective. I was not uncaring I often assisted others, but with the dramatically different lifestyle I took more time to have empathy for others less fortunate. I was finally making the effort to walk in their shoes. Many in cyberspace do not take into account that I am severely disabled, but out in public looks of pity are common. Yes, my plight is tough only able to move one finger and several facial muscles consistently without fatigue, but I’m above the dirt, living over five times longer than the longest estimate doctors gave me and occasionally have the opportunity to help others.

Yesterday afternoon driving around the property seeing so much work that needs to be done that I would love doing I lost focus of my incredible good fortune and went to sleep feeling incredibly tired of being paralyzed. This morning I wake embarrassed for sharing my pity party with Carey. The able body world completely understands my sentiments of last night, but there are tens of thousands of people bed bound that would give anything for independent mobility and the chance to get outside. A dear friend, Susan Duffey loved life and always smiled to let you know it I’m sure would love to be bed bound, but ALS took her life a week ago.

walk in their shoesOn this Monday morning our big blue marble could instantly be a better place if we expended less energy making snap judgments of others and walked in their shoes instead. Have a great day! dj

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