I have my right thumb broken, the one of my dominant hand. Trivial detail, certainly. I am learning to twirl spaghetti, brush my teeth, comb my hair, insert keys into locks and use the scissors with my left hand, among many other minutiae of daily life.
A cliché: we always realize the importance of something after losing it, temporarily or else.
An epiphany: I am acquiring extra skills, which I did not have three weeks ago, in order to take care of myself under the circumstances,.
My thought now often go to the people who live day in, day out with a “non-functionality” of their bodies. And I have realized that defining those people “dis-abled” is incorrect. Having an impairment forces one to develop “super-abilities” that fully functional people can hardly fathom. That I can hardly fathom, for that matter!
Just think how difficult it can be to use New York public transportation elbowing one’s way through a crowded subway car, for example, for people who can rely on their legs. And I wonder how extremely hard it must be for people who cannot walk, if it’s possible at all. In this connection, a scene came back to my mind: some time ago, I was attending a press conference on the rights of disabled people, of which the keynote speaker was a well-regarded director of my organization, a beautiful and proud lady. No organizer of the conference had the consideration of clearing the way from chairs to ease her access to the podium on her wheelchair. People with a fully functional body can be, in general, so “thought-less”, let alone realizing the super-abilities developed by the so-called dis-abled!
Another super-ability of the differently able is a tremendous psychological strength: to keep one’s pride and emotional integrity intact in spaces (and a city like New York) that are not at all disabled-friendly is not for the faint of the heart!
My humble regards and admiration to all the super-abled of daily life!