Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A little kindness goes a long way

Being in a wheelchair can present many obstacles when going about your day. Most of normal everyday things like stairs, doors, hills, and uneven pavement are some of the more impossible obstacles to overcome on your own. Unfortuantely, it is almost impossible to avoid these obstacles. For example, on my way to work, I encounter two hills four doors, a staircase, and a stretch of pot hole infested sidewalk. Unfortunately, I can't rely on my friends for help with getting to work because I go to work early in the morning and feel it would be selfish of me to wake them just to get me to work. So I make the journey on my own. I do pretty fine making it toward the end of the main campus. I roll with my breaks down to help slow my chair on the hill. The real problem occurs when i cross the street. It has not much to do with the actual crossing of the street. That part is ok. It's when i make it across. The sidewalk at the other end of the crosswalk is blocked by a staircase, which common sense tells us that a wheelchair can't make it up the stairs. So, what am I to do? I go onto the road to avoid the stairs. Ordinarly this wouldn't be to bad except the road has more indentations than a slice of swiss cheese. I don't have any other option so I awkwardly proceed onto the road. I need to get to work after all. I am now on the corner of the shoulder of the road next to the sidewalk attempting to get up the hill. I feel extremely awkward because i know just about everyone who is stopped at the stoplight is staring at me struggling to free my wheels enough to proceed toward the office building. I struggle for about a minute or so and then put the breaks on my chair so I could think. My innovative nature tells me to figure out a way to free my wheels. I looked around for something to grab onto so I could pull myself over the uneven pavement. There was nothing. I continue to sit there awkwardly trying to figure out what to do. Then i hear a car door open. I turn around and a young man approaches me. " Do you need any help?" I answered sure thanks. My face was probably as red as a tomatoe. I get embarassed having to depend on help so much. I'm just a naturally stubborn person. So anyway, the kind stranger freed me from the pavement trap and pushed me to the smooth part of the road. I was so greatful for that mans kindness. If he didn't stop to help me, I don't know what I would have done. The kind stranger left me at the smooth part of the road and went back into his car and drove off. I started to wheel myself up the road. Even though the pavement was smooth, there was still an obstacle. Not one as bad as the swiss cheese pavement, but still an obstacle nonetheless. The smooth pavement was a hill. Not a very large hill, but a hill large enough to make my life my more difficult. I started up the hill. I was just glad to be freed from the uneven pavement so I didn't really care about the hill too much. I made it a 3rd of the way up and then heard a voice behind me. I turned my head and it was another young man. He too asked if I needed help. I thought why not and replied sure, that would be great thanks. I offered to hold the stranger's coffee. He pushed me the rest of the way up the hill. I thanked him and he went on his way. In 10 minutes time, I encountered two kind strangers. I have never seen these men before in my life and yet they went out of their way to help me.It only took maybe a minute or two out of their day but it made a worlds difference to me. I am really greatful for their kindness. I hope this could inspire those who read this story to take the two minutes out of their day to help make someone's day a little better.

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