I was surfing around the internet the other day when I came across a website that had been made by a boy with Down Syndrome. I went inside, and what I found was amazingly inspiring. This boy had been born with Down Syndrome, but his entire life had been brought to be as normal as possible, and was currently an avid skater, sports player, and mountain climber. There were pictures of him doing absolutely amazing things and of the many medals he had won competitiveness in the Special Olympics. His attitude was astounding – one picture showed the back of his car, where a decal reading "Powered by an Extra Chromosome!" Gleamed in the sunlight.
Here was a person who everyone in the world would consider handicapped doing things that even I could not do. He was a person with natural determination and resolve like I had seen in few people in my life. This kid literally knew how to do nothing but set goals and achieve them, regardless of how much work was involved. He worked hard every day to make sure no one thought he was not capable or handicapped, proving that he could do anything that any other person could do.
Later that week I went in town to the local Wal-mart. I rolled into a parking space, and made my way to the store. On my way past the end of the Handicapped spaces, I saw a woman pull in with her handicapped sticker and tag. I watched as the woman easily got out of the car, closed the door, and walked straight into the entrance of the store. Once inside, she spent a few minutes searching for an electric cart. When she did not find it, she asked the greeter about it, and he had one brought to her. After standing in wait for a few minutes and commenting on a pain she developed if she wa son her legs for too long, she put her purse in the little basket, sat down on the electric cart, and shot on past me and into the rest Of the store.
I have to be honest, something about this did not sit well with me. Before me was a woman who practically commented to the world that she was "disabled" in order to get a closer to the store and a little cart to ride around in her her legs would not hurt her. At the same time, however, there was a boy who was born with a condition that made everything he did more difficult, and he was probably splashing along in a kayak or something, and doing everything in his power to make sure no one thought of Him as handicapped.
There is a massive attitude problem with the people of this world today. Everywhere I look, I notice more and more people acting as if they want to be victims. There are people out there willingly searching to find reasons that life should have made easier upon them just because they feel like they are "owed" it. It seems that more and more people are slapping handicapped stickers on their cars, at younger and younger ages. People want to be pandered to, and treated with a different set of standards because of their claimed "disability". They want to be sympathized and pitied, and this completely blows my mind. I never in my life want to be pitied, and I never want to feel like I need anyone's handouts.
I've come to the conclusion that there are very few truly handicapped people. The only handicap I see is a very poor mindset. That boy with Down Syndrome I believe is one of the very least handicapped people on the planet. There is nothing on this earth that is not available to him because he wants to earn things himself, and wants to prove to the rest of the world that he is an equally capable member of society. There is a lesson here that the rest of the world can learn. All of these people that want things handed to them, who try to find ways that make them less capable than everyone else need to wake up and get some dignity.
I am firmly convinced of the amazing things that people are all capable of. Average people do extraordinary things every day by doing nothing else but their best, pouring their hearts out into their jobs and their lives and trying to be the very best person they can. When people set their sights on goals and decide that nothing is going to stand in their way, really inspiring things happen. One boy out there has inspired me to do my best and live my life with everything I've got. When people look at me, I want them to see my abilities, not my disabilities.
I charge anyone out there to step up to the plate and take a good look at yourself. I challenge you to be like the boy with Down Syndrome, and to make sure you are defined by what you can do, not what others think you can not. Stop working so hard to get other people to pity you can take care of you and put that effort towards doing things yourself. At this very moment there are people out there who have to struggle to maintain a normal life, and they do it with conviction and pride, and anyone who tries to take the easy road by claiming that they are disabled is seriously disrespecting them. Challenge yourself, respect yourself, and you'll be amazed at the things you can accomplish.