This is off topic, but I just feel a need to write about it.
This past weekend I took a tumble while walking my 100# dog; landing on my face. So, now I have a big scab on my forehead along with a black and blue eye.
I have been a bit embarrassed by this, and took great care to “hide” it when I went to church on Sunday.
Yesterday I ventured out to the grocery store, and decided, what the heck, and had my hair pulled back in a ponytail when I went to the store. Initially, I planned on wearing my sunglasses in the store, but decided against it. I was really surprised at how many people actually “avoided” me while I was shopping; averting their eyes, looking away, pretending to be “oh so interested” in an avocado. There was one gentleman that even turned and quickly walked in the other direction the moment he looked up and saw my face; heading for the bananas and looking oh so interested in them.
I sort of expected this type of reaction from the other shoppers. The kicker was when I went to checkout. The clerk wouldn’t look me in the face, he averted his eyes, and barely spoke one word to me. The bag-boy did ask how I was doing, and did look me in the eye. God bless him.
Is this how those who have physical disabilities and don’t look “normal” are treated? Do I do this? (I try not to, in fact I try to look them in the face, smile and at least say hello.) Were they wondering what happened to me? Probably. Is that a valid excuse for this reaction to my “looks”? No.
As a society we need to be more compassionate to those who don’t look “perfect”. Whether it is a temporary imperfection (as in my case) or what “normal looking people” consider a permanent imperfection.
I challenge you to this – next time you are wherever in society and see someone who isn’t “perfect”; whether in a wheelchair, an elderly using a walker, someone with a big bruise on their face, or a purple birthmark, anything that our society seems to “shun”, go out of your way to look the person in the eye, and at least say “hello”, “how are you”. You aren’t going to “catch” anything from them, and you will make their day.