Privilege: (noun) a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
I have a handicap tag for my rear-view mirror. I'm not old, I'm not in a wheelchair, I walk around on my own two feet and other than being overweight, you wouldn't think me handicapped as I walk into a store, the mall, or Walmart.
But did you know that I am recovering from a broken neck? That I'm overweight from the inactivity during my recovery? Did you know that for two years I was in physical therapy and the fact that I can walk on my own two feet is a blessing?
Some days I park in handicap, some days I don't. It depends on the amount of cars in a parking lot and how much shopping I will be doing. When I do utilize this option, I always pick the furthest spot and never in a van accessible space.
I don't use the store scooters, I try my best to continue walking on my own and hoping the day comes when I won't need that tag. I'm not taking advantage and I'm not even complaining.
But I've seen the looks.
The snotty, holier-than-thou looks by others as I hop out of my SUV and enter a store, happy and perky. If you've never seen disdain, wake a cat up. Same look.
But where are you halfway through my shopping where I'm sweating and leaning on the buggy? Where are you when I literally cry out in pain as I put bags in my car? Where are you as I struggle to even get in the car, then sit there panting from pain unable to turn my neck or start the car for a while? Sometimes having to wait for medicine to kick in while I sit in the heat.
Did you know that the weight gained has stressed my heart so that just doing day-to-day activities could cause it to rupture from all the strain, lifting and pushing heavy things? Can't see that can you?
I passed out in a Walmart once. As I was blacking out, people just walked past me, stepped over me or ignored me. Finally, a worker came to my rescue and called an ambulance.
Those people who didn't give a damn? Same ones giving me that look as they walked into the store. Did they remember I was the one they mocked? I bet they didn't notice anything except I was blocking the DVD New Release section.
Not every handicap is visible. Stop judging others based on what you believe to be right. I'm so sick of people like that. I believe in the full circle of life and I have a photographic memory. So if Karma doesn't get you, I may walk past you one day in your time of need.
Maybe I'll help, or just maybe I'll step over you and keep going...