This is on my heart and I didn’t want to wait for next week to share it. So here is a bonus post for this week.
I have mentioned before in past posts that I had been teased and bullied in school. This is not a new phenomenon of course. When I hear of people getting bullied, it is usually kids in middle or high school. It is heart breaking and cruel. Kids just don’t seem to understand the long lasting effects that their words or actions will have on someone. Countless suicides have happened as a result of bullying. As adults, we always say “kids are so mean” and we believe that once these kids grow up then they will see how severe bullying can be. We expect that as adults that we are out of the bullying stage.
This post is to bring awareness to people about adult bullying. I have two friends that are married and each of them have a disability. One is blind and one has spina bifida. They went to a movie the other night and found their seats in the section for people with disabilities. They were trying to enjoy this movie that they had been waiting to see for a while, but the enjoyment was short lived as there was a young family sitting behind them that chose to start bullying them. They proceeded to kick the backs of their chairs, hitting them in the back of the head, and just generally picking on them.
As I mentioned, she has spina bifida and can’t just move somewhere else. They clearly had to sit in the disability section for a reason. This event hits close to home for me for the obvious reason. I went to a large mall shortly after Christmas this past year. I was stepping out of my comfort zone and starting using my cane in public for the first time. I had people cut in front of me to get across the hall, I had people literally run into me, I even had a man who kicked my cane out from under me. When did people start getting so wrapped up in their own worlds that the very things set in place to protect people with disabilities are seemingly no longer helpful.
There are reserved sections for people with disabilities at movies, stadiums, concert halls and alike. There are devices to alert others of someone with a disability so they don’t get injured or injure someone else. Somehow these things seem to be a green light for some to abuse the disabled person. Why?
Several months ago, there was a story circling around Facebook of a woman that made a video on behalf of her parents. The couple went to a restaurant with a drive-through. They pulled around to the window to order instead of ordering at the speaker because they were both deaf and needed to read the workers lips to order and find out how much the meal would cost. When they reached the window and explained their situation, they were mortified when the worker placed her hand over her mouth and began speaking to them. The wife explained again that she was deaf but could read lips so would she please remove her hand. The worker didn’t. She continued mocking the couple by speaking with her hand over her mouth. The couple was heart broken to have to endure bullying at their ages and because they had a disability.
I praise God that He has given me the strength to overcome the horrible hurtful words and actions of the kids I went to school with, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten those words. It is my heart’s desire, as I mentioned in my last post, to reach people for Jesus in a mighty way. It is also my hearts desire to be a voice for those with disabilities who don’t feel like they have a voice. Maybe they don’t feel strong enough to use their voice. People with disabilities of any kind are just as valuable and as much of an asset as anyone in this world.
I want to inspire someone who thinks they can’t do something because they have a disability to give it their all and try. If you don’t get results, try harder, find another way, ask who you have to ask to help. You can do it! Ask God for the strength and will-power to make it happen. He will give it to you. Just remember that the person getting bullied is someone’s loved one. They hurt and feel and cry just like you do. Make a difference in the world and fight against bullying. So much damage is done from bullying.