Sunday, April 14, 2019


"I can't do sports with my scissor gait."
"I'd never join debate with my stutter."
"How could I do X with -X physical or mental difference-?"

I note these thoughts cropping up almost every day, both in myself and fellow Soldier brethren. ADHD, walker, speech impediment. Doesn't matter -- any difference can make you exclude yourself from things you might have tried otherwise.

But it's not the activity so much as it is the people, now is it? Different is judged. C'est la vie. The different compare themselves in light of their limits, and those without them feel elevated for it. "Oh, well, I'm faster than the wheelchair kid, at least."

If anyone without a difference happens to read this, I encourage them to show a spirit of accommodation toward those who I consider fighting a battle, oft completely hidden, or if not, surprisingly internalized since birth. The battle that we're in our own bubble. The battle that we're oh-so-special, be gentle, don't overwhelm them, the poor simpletons (Not true. We're just as smart, often smarter.) The battle that we're a low bar for people to hang on to elitize themselves.
No, elitize is not a word. Yet.
Hey, Shakespeare made new words all the time, right?
Point being, we with our differences, however noticeable to the eye, all fight a battle, which is, sadly, usually bottled up out of shame. Hence my personal collective term for the community of different. Soldiers.

Soldiers, try new things. Don't disqualify yourself. I say from experience if something is worthwhile, SOMEONE will accommodate you.

Finally, to those not in the trenches: Be that person who accommodates. We don't live in a bubble. We're human. Insecure. Always.
Tell us we can. It means the world to us because we don't hear it often, even if it's very, very true.

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