Hi, I’m Dan. A cat owner from Chester. Here’s an insight into my life as an ‘inspirational’ person.
Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus.
John Logie Baird creating the goggle box (and inadvertently Sky Sports. Thanks mate!).
Shakespeare writing Othello.
Dan pulling a ‘Kill The Kardashians’ t-shirt over his head unaided and venturing to the shop.
Whoa. Take a step back there. What’s so special about the last one?
Is getting dressed on a par with fighting racism, the invention of a ubiquitous household item, or the writing of a legendary stage play? Am I inspirational simply by protecting the world at large from the sight of my middle aged (and recently slightly slimmer) torso?
I certainly don’t think so, but apparently some do. A fact which makes me laugh at the idiocy of it, and winds me up. You see there’s a common phenomenon where people watch the, quite often, mundane activities of a person with an impairment and escalate them to levels of heroism not seen since Greek mythology. Here are some recent examples.
‘Oh it’s fantastic that you’re doing that’ a woman commented as I lifted a bag of cat litter into the shopping trolley. ‘What, taking care of my cat?’ I asked bemused.
‘Good to see you out and about’ said a random guy in the queue at the cinema. ‘Have we met before I asked?’ ‘Emmm, no. No, just good to see you, em, you know. Out and about.’
‘That’s great you’re working with homeless people Dan. I mean, it gets you out the house doesn’t it?!’ remarked a visiting occupational therapist.
I have no desire to inspire anyone purely because I have cerebral palsy. If you’re wondering why this commentary is so patronising then ask yourself this question. Would you praise another shopper as they sorted Tiddles’ bathroom arrangements? Or congratulate them on taking their wife to the movies?
Nothing I do in my daily life needs to be analysed and applauded as anything amazing. Yes, I live life to the full, with a happy marriage, and a job I find rewarding but so do millions of other people.
I’m not being inspirational when I watch TV, cook the dinner or wash any number of my ever growing T-shirt collection. Nor am I going for a Nobel peace prize when giving a best man’s speech (even though I’m really good at it!).
There is no extraordinary story behind anything I do.
I’m just me.
And it would be really cool if more people, no matter how well intentioned they are, took that on board. I like meeting new folk and enjoy a chat as much as the next guy but please, let’s leave the inspirational comments at the door.
Thanks for reading this guest blog by Dan, who is a member of our training team. If you’d like to learn more about disability awareness training and how it can benefit your business then get in touch.
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