Facebook Flames

Social media can be a minefield. That’s exactly what it was when I saw the entry of a friend there. We’ll call her Diana.

Diana could be very kind, but she also clearly had anger issues that were made apparent through her coarse words about others. On that day, Diana wrote this:

“Not that I want praise…but I swear I get so tired of rude people. Our society thinks it’s perfectly acceptable behavior. Helped an older gentleman in a wheelchair who was really struggling to get up a ramp and into a restaurant this evening. He looked at me like I was dirt. Hey Buddy, don’t mention it. Glad I could help.”

Then someone responded with this:

“Did you ask first? People should be able to choose if they have help or not. If you didn’t ask, you may have seen your desire to help as more important than his desire for independence. If that’s the case, then you may well be mistaken who the rude person is.”

Although the responding comment may seem a bit harsh, a point was made. When a person is confined to a wheelchair, the chair can and should be considered as an extension of the person. The chair, when being used, deserves the same respect as the physical body of the person in it. It’s not acceptable to go up to a stranger and touch them, so why would it be okay to take the handles of someone’s wheelchair without permission? While the man appeared to Diana to be struggling, independence and a sense of accomplishment can be valuable things for someone who has suffered loss of mobility. I understand the desire to help, but it’s important to show courtesy, and it is respectful to ask if your help is needed or wanted before taking action.

What do you think about Diana’s comment and the response?

About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 60's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way. https://climbingdownhill.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in MS/Multiple Sclerosis, People Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Facebook Flames

  1. Kristin says:

    I think this is an excellent teaching moment… thanks for sharing this… as a therapist I’m always pushing/working to find ways for people to be independent and as you say.. she should have asked first. But I would also say the general public would not think to ask in that moment as they don’t understand the concept this could be insulting/degrading and it is hard to watch someone struggle. So I’m glad you have this platform to provide this type of education from your perspective. As a side note, I believe people that help others seeking to get a pat on the back for helping are helping for the wrong reasons… just my opinion.

  2. JoAnne Simon says:

    Diana’s post begins “Not that I want praise”. Translated: I deserve praise!

  3. heide45fidnetcom says:

    I understand wanting to help. I also understand the need for independence. I hope she will ask next time.

  4. Declan Groeger says:

    I hate it when someone just assumes that I need help when I seem to be struggling. Struggle is a part of life and our reactions to our struggles is a mark of our character. I like pushing my limits and often appear to struggle but the feeling of achievement can be massive. Please don’t assume I need help – politely ask me if I need help

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