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Not Here For Your Inspiration? Why Not?

Ok, I think I must be really weird. I've heard people all week long rhapsidising about this blog by stella young. It discusses the Scott Hamilton quote "The only disability in life is a bad attitude", which has been freely used to illustrate heart warming/stomach heaving pictures of disabled people doing normal things. I agree in the main with a lot of what Stella young says here, and that quote is patent bolderdash. If the only disability in life is a bad attitude, could someone please press a switch and give me back my eyesight? No? Thought not.

What I am having a problem with is the latter part of the article. I read that while Stella was on the way to work one day, someone took the time to let her know that she, that is the co-traveler in question, found her, Stella Young, an inspiration. Stella had a problem with this, and I just hope that kind, well-meaning person did not get to see herself used in a blog in the way that she was. I have heard a lot of my friends say they hate it when people call them inspirational/amazing/something complimentary for doing ordinary things which they do every day. We are not here for your inspiration, grumps Stella Young. Why not, exactly?

Being called an inspiration to someone is something with which I have never had a problem. Now please, don’t get the idea that I am an attention-seeking, vainglorious, self-satisfied holier than thou goody two-shoes, who goes around trying to shed light on all the world. I’m not. I do the same ordinary things as everyone else, and probably less than some. I get frustrated about inaccessibility, I moan about my health, I have my weaknesses and my imperfections like everyone. But the way I see it is this. If somebody sees me bumbling along, leading my life and finds me inspirational, what right do I have to spoil that for them by making myself unpleasant about it? I certainly don’t seek it, but hell, I’m certainly not going to bust anyone’s bubble by being rude about it either.

And when you think of it, the fact of having or not having a disability shouldn’t have anything to do with it at all. Don’t you think it would be cool if we were all an inspiration to someone? Not because we have a disability and just get on with our lives the best we can, but for who we are, for what we do, for the difference we can make, however tiny, in the world we live in?

Oh sure, I can hear everyone saying “My disability is the least important thing about me!” and of course that’s true. But for me, if something about my being blind and doing something ordinary made a positive impact on someone then I can only see it as good, not bad.

When it comes right down to it, I’d rather have a positive effect, however tiny, on someone’s life than be thought of as a complete asshole, or, even worse, as just a makeweight.

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