It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..
No, really. Let me tell you a tale of two people I know.
Sue (we’ll call her) is African-American. She was injured in a motor vehicular accident when she was five years old, necessitating multiple surgeries. She had to travel a couple of hours to get to the hospital and recovery center and spent two to three months there each summer for several years. Her parents were allowed to visit one day per week, and they were not allowed to bring any toys. They did not coddle her, insisting that she do her chores when she lived at home and that she attend middle school in the same place as everyone else, which required her to ascend a flight of stairs on crutches for 3 years. She grew up and became an English teacher and inspired many young folk before she retired. Her injuries worsened as she aged and she ended up in an electric scooter, taking care of her husband and is the delight of her neighbors, because of her upbeat attitude and her love of life.
Person #2. We will call him Sam. Sam grew up in an upper middle class caucasian family where he was expected to attend college. He did. He acquired a Bachelor degrees and two Masters degrees. He had a moderately successful business career. He struggled with the ethical aspects of his work. He retired from work while in his 50s. He shortly after that he retired from most of the other aspects of his life and has spent the last 15 years blaming other people for what is wrong in his life. He will tell you he is miserable and that life is not worth living.
I think the biggest disabilities are related to attitude.