Extreme Kindness

untitled, 2001, ceramic, 5" x 2"

untitled, 2001, ceramic, 5" x 2"

In my support group the other day people were ranting about various tales of the unconsciousness and often downright cruelty they had experienced as disabled people.

Thankfully, that has not been my experience but I know that being confronted with raw disability face to face triggers able-bodied people in many ways.

In our culture there are not too many places where people can feel really SAFE helping a person less fortunate.

We see the scariness of homeless people in their life-weary vacant faces, filth and disconnect.

There are veterans peaceably holding cardboard signs blessing us and asking for our help.

Because humans are the most untrustable species on our planet, we shy away from extending our hand to those less fortunate in fear of something weird happening in the exchange.

It is easier; more sanitized to send a check to a favorite charity.

As I make my way through my days, I see the utter pleasure and relief in people’s faces and demeanor as I look them in the eye, smile and say thank you for the kindness of an opened door or a watchful eye as I maneuver a wet floor.

I see that people WANT TO HELP.

It seems to bring a particular pleasure and palpable relief for someone to see me with my walker; someone not scary looking.. in fact, quite like them! The softness and extreme kindness offered is a treasured gift for us both and not soon forgotten.

Such a little thing, this kindness connection. Clearly it takes the openness to extend it AND to receive.


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