How many times in your life have you not been given credit for something you outstandingly accomplished? How many times were your efforts gone unnoticed? And, how many times did some body else take the credit for your hard work? This happens a lot to people with disabilities. Too often our work is seen as something to keep us busy and occupied, rather than something of meaning and purpose. Because people outside the disabled circle seem to believe that our lives don’t need the same kind of depth, acknowledgement, praise, or honor to express warm approval or admiration for the work we have done. We are given little recognition which is so deserved. Time and time again, our efforts, our ethics, and our labor get either brushed over or disregarded. Persons in high raking positions, who have no disabilities of there own, have a special way of usurping every opportunity that comes our way.
They seem to have a unique and inimitable way of allowing us to do the work for which they take full credit for. There are many deceitful examples. One time, in transition, while waiting for the verdict of my Civil Rights Case, I was working as an assistant recreation director. I went above and beyond, and took on responsibilities that normally would fall to my boss. But me being me, I took them on. Unfortunately, my efforts were not valued or taken seriously.
Once again, I was treated as though I was mentally retarded; and should go back to the workshops. It was thought and non-verbally expressed that I should do his work, while he received all the accolades. This idea was demonstrated in the general approach which was taken towards the management of our responsibilities within this care facility. I naturally grasped and took upon myself the many details in organizing care plans, putting on events, and teaching fitness classes; along with giving each client the respect, the dignity, the decorum, and care they unconditionally needed and deserved.
Most the time, my boss would show his face in the early part of the morning, disappear for eight hours, and reappear at the days end. Meanwhile, I had been progressing, and achieving and doing all his work. I put in long, grueling hours out of the goodness of my heart. I learned the ropes of the trade due to his negligence and unconcern. He was cold and hardened and looked out just for himself. He did not think of others around him and what his affects would be on them.
This man had the nerve to claim, “all I did was visit patience and make them happy…” His inaccurate, condescending and disdainful statements made me look as if I was incompetent of doing my job. He made me look as though I was incapable of holding my position or carrying out the duties at hand. He also damaged my reputation and caused me much strife.
Why is it that these people have to cause others such horrific and horrendous, pain? Why does our society promote one- manship of cruelty, instead of goodness? Why are there clicks where mean and cure things are said about others, and nasty act performed? And why are people so jealous of those who give there all? Are they threatened Of us? Tell me, please! Why does mankind turn on there own? Is it ego, or greed? Is it power because they have something missing within themselves? Is it revenge because of something that happened in childhood? Are they just outright mean and cruel and have to hurt those who try their hardest and give there all!
What happened to being happy for someone else, and working together for the common good of all? What happened to doing unto others as you would like done unto you? These irrefutable acts hurt the people who want to be included in society the most. While these people know how to sniff us out, and put us where they think we belong. They get off scott free for a while, but it always comes back.
It is the primary task of all of us who have a disability to demonstrate our own achievements in every aspect of our life. We need to show and teach the world by action and deed just how much we have to offer the world, and will accomplish. We need society to treat us seriously. We need society to get honest and stay honest. And, we need society to own up to the many narratives they have done to hold and keep us back. We need our country, and our members of government officially responsible to begin to recognize our untapped leaders in our own communities. It is far better for society if its leaders come from a people which have born “the heat of battle in the noon day sun.” Because you see, as a community, we have been tested and hardened by the struggle to survive. We have also understood the need to work interdependently for mutual benefits. These are the skills which our country requires of it leaders. So why not us, too! Why not then give us a voice and a say so in the leadership of the republic. Why keep us hidden in the shadows?