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?