As a child I was in a serious accident (motor vehicle vs. pedestrian, I was the pedestrian). Among multiple physical injuries I suffered, was a head injury resulting from my head impacting and shattering the windshield of the car and then slamming on the pavement when the impact sent my body flying through the air.
While my physical injuries healed with time but the resulting trauma to my brain has lasted. I have learned to function and deal with the side-effects as best I can, which have included severe migraines, speech and motor processing issues and the usual arthritis that tends to creep in to bones that have been broken. The one effect I have never been able to recover are the majority of my memories before age twelve.
As a teenager and young adult, this never bothered me. I have very few legitimate memories of my childhood, my “memories” are stories told by my siblings or parents of when we were little. It’s hard for me to listen to someone talk about when they were little, things they experienced, fun they had. I don’t have any memory of those things. At other times, I am grateful for the lack of many memories as I do not remember first-hand the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father. I have plenty of those memories from after my accident to make up for the lack of them before.
I’ve had embarrassing, self-conscious moments over the years when I have difficulty getting words out when speaking in public. There have been times in public when my brain simply will not process what to do next, simple things like how to take my next step. One of these such incidents occurred when I was in college. I was climbing the stairs of one of buildings heading to class at a high traffic time when my brain simply shut down. I stood in the middle of the stairway not having the ability to move out of the way, to step up, to even verbalize what was happening. Luckily my good friend was walking with me and realized in a beat what was happening and simply took my arm and said gently “lift your leg and step up”.
These experiences have made me ultra conscious of what other people experience and my reactions to their seemingly odd or abnormal behavior. I have no idea what they have experienced in their lives, what medical issues they may have or what is triggering their behavior. What I do have the ability to do, is treat them with respect and dignity, to not make fun of or gossip about them. Each of us have a story and most of the world will never know the majority of our chapters.
My purpose of writing this brief post is to say that you have the ability to be the change, to treat people with respect & to not judge someone based on their physical or mental capacity. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and there is no way that is better than another.
#BeTheChange #BeKind #ShowLove #BeCompassionate #YouAreBeautiful