??I am the mother of a young son who has a life-long disability. His may be “hidden,” but he has encountered many visible struggles.
One struggle close to my heart...is the fear of lack of empathy or acceptance...
One struggle close to my heart is the feeling, whether it is true or not, of the fear of lack of empathy or acceptance of his differences. Especially outbursts of emotions when he was younger. My heart would glare at others’ lack of understanding and comfort.
My first gut reaction was to see her as "different"
But I found myself one day recently, sitting in the airport and seeing a young woman with a very apparent physical disability. My first gut reaction was to see her as “different” with all the subtle assumptions we can all make at first glance to anyone we encounter.
I recognized the need to override this initial thought response...
I was then struck by my own immediate reaction and recognized the importance and need to override this initial thought response that “You seem different.” I think we are all wired to recognize “differences” and may hold a particular set of immediate presumptions we don’t even know we hold, but we also have the cognitive ability to override these gut reactions to more open awareness, sensitivity, and understanding. To not presume, but to “get to know.”
I think this is a consideration we can all share and appreciate.