I used to think that I wasn't qualified to use the word "disabled." What could I possibly know about being disabled?
Then a man with cerebral palsy taught me that each of us carries a backpack, some heavier than others. For a few people, the backpack is obvious. For others only hinted at. And some may not even be aware of carrying one.
But we all do.
He taught me that we disable ourselves when we do drugs or abuse alcohol. Or when we don’t participate or when we condemn others. Or when we lack gratitude. He argued that lying and fighting and criticizing and blaming disables us. He suggested that trying to be perfect or trying to control or manipulate others disables us too.
He helped me see how disabled so many people are. Especially me. He helped me see my backpack. He helped me figure out how to loosen the straps.