Today is the International Day of Acceptance.
Many of you may not know what that means. Many of you have probably never heard of it.
Well, I’m sure many of have you seen the wheelchair heart symbol somewhere. That symbol says a lot more than one can think. And to each individual it can mean something different.
To me, this symbol means equality and acceptance.
3E Love symbolizes me. And everything I believe in. And everything I stand for…or sit, for those of you who can’t help but crack a cripple joke.
Having a disability affects each person differently. I have grown to project my disability with confidence.
I have grown to accept that not everyone realizes my disability does not define me. Or my intelligence. Or my personality.
One day I hope to change that stereotype.
The stereotype that people with disabilities are automatically mentally challenged. The stereotype that people with disabilities only have their family, no able-bodied friends. The stereotype that people with disabilities are not capable of speaking or thinking for themselves.
I am able.
I am intelligent.
I can speak for myself.
I can think for myself.
I am aware of my surroundings.
I do have friends outside of my own family. That are able bodied and disabled. And see me for me, not for a hunk of metal on wheels.
Having a disability has not stopped me from believing in myself. Believing that I CAN. Believing that I AM able. Believing that nothing is impossible. Believing that there is a status quo that needs to be broken.
Because in the end, if I don’t believe in myself, how can I expect others to?
I just hope that one day, everyone else can see what I see….
A human being with a beating heart and a functioning brain.
If your heart isn’t already on your sleeve everyday, as it should be, at least wear it for today.