Kindness to confidence

Rolling without confidence

How confident are you when you go out and about? Do you think about your every move, every interaction? For most of us we simply run our errands, grab lunch, or do whatever we need or want to do. But add a wheelchair, a chrome one with a gray back, and confidence vanishes. I’d been out in my wheelchair a few times – but always with someone. That confidence you see here, leaned back, relaxed did not come easily.

Out alone was not working

My first time out in the wheelchair alone came months later. Vacation time found us in Walt Disney World. We had checked into the Caribbean Beach hotel. Our room wasn’t ready, so we went exploring around the grounds and the hotel itself. We found a few things that interested my son, and Sandy suggested I get something to drink in the cafe.

The Caribbean Beach has undergone significant renovation since this trip, but at the time there was a small coffee shop. It had a slightly raised section with a nice railing around it. I rolled up to a rather central table expecting to order something cold to drink. So here is this guy in a wheelchair in the middle. I think I should have been easy to spot.

Spotted I was not. Servers came by and looked the other way. I didn’t have any confidence, and this was not helping. I tried all the polite ways to get service to no avail. Can I actually do this? How do people function like this?

Kindness changed everything

From out in the corridor came a young lady, a server. She carried a small crossbody bag. She looked at me, the only person there without something on the table, and came up the ramp. “Has anyone taken your order?” I answered they had not, and she said, “Hold tight. This isn’t my section, but I’ll be right back.” She disappeared into the back and within less than a minute she had returned.

After she had brought my drink, she asked about how our trip was going, plans, and all those nice things we say to our guests. She treated my like a human rather than a wheelchair. It meant the world to me. Her simple kindness showed me that perhaps I had a future on wheels. And yes, I still remember her name. She probably never knew how much that meant for me and my future. We don’t know, but that doesn’t matter. We pay it back; we pay it forward. Kindness is priceless and costs us nothing.

Thank you for your patience

Thank you all so much for stopping by. I have had a drought in terms of publishing. There is a list of topics on my desk, and I keep adding to it. But this summer I have been swamped with doing absolutely nothing. That really isn’t true because I’ve done some OT and have successfully learned how to stay in the present. And on another positive, I have not lost the list!

Picture descriptions: Main picture has George in his wheelchair in front of a pickup truck with a sign Oscar’s Super Service. He is relaxed, leaned back, and has his foot on the running board. Both the truck and his shirt are teal. Both the truck and his wheelchair have red wheels and trim. Second picture is a color by number puzzle. It shows a young lady wearing a bright, yellow raincoat holding her umbrella over a kitten. The caption is Be kind, even on your bad days.

27 thoughts on “Kindness to confidence

  1. Hey George, nice story and a reminder that there are kind people in the world. It’s a shame the others who just kept bypassing you didn’t take the opportunity to not only extend a little kindness but perhaps a chance to learn a little about you. That had to be a difficult position to be in for you and I’m glad there was a happy ending. Not sure what’s going on with WordPress but it wouldn’t display my “like”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just figured out about a week ago that my notifications show up on My Home. Whenever I try to access them from my admin dashboard though they won’t load. Technology is great when it works but when it doesn’t grrrrrrr.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes I have sign totally out of WP and then back in. Sometimes on just my pad.
        I think the magic word in technology is Restart. lol I hope you are well. I am doing nothing due to some compressed nerves. Too many years sitting down. 😎👨🏼‍🦽

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey George, I hope you’re feeling well. I’m able to get my notifications, etc. on the “My Home” page and am just now seeing this. Yes, I have to agree with you on the Restart thing and it’s always my go-to when troubleshooting.

        Like

    1. Thanks. You nailed it, we need to be kind. I don’t know when I became comfortable on wheels. It was not during my early years. My neurologist told us to move to a warmer place. At that point my life began to change. No one had known me walking. I was just the guy who rolled places. And I got better chairs, which helped. Today I don’t even think about my chair or that people might be staring. 😎

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  2. People often talk about wanting to make a difference in the world, yet many are unaware of the huge difference we can make just by simple things. It just takes a bit of thought and effort.

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  3. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been, and perhaps still is at times, doing the ‘ordinary’ with wheels. I used to have pretty bad social anxiety when I was younger, to the point where I could barely speak in public, I couldn’t drink when someone else was around, I couldn’t cough in the classroom at school, you get the picture. It would be painfully difficult. It took a long time to ‘come out of my shell’ and I think illness and the stoma dented that again, so I’ve still got a ways to go. Still, I’m glad to how far I have come. I always find it interesting to read the experience others have had with confidence, where we see a story different or more in-depth than what we see on the surface because photos never show the full picture.

    I’m so sorry about how you were treated – or rather, not treated – when you were trying to get served. I imagine you’ll remember that one server like a beacon in the darkness forever. What a difference a little kindness can make. I sometimes wish there was a way we could track down those people that have touched our lives so we could tell them, because I’m sure they never realise what an impact they’ve had. Thank you for sharing this with us, George.

    I hope the OT’s been going okay and it sounds great you’re staying ‘in the present’ a bit more. The blog and to-do list stuff can wait. A little bit more of doing nothing sounds good to me. Time out can be the best thing sometimes. That said, I always love reading your posts!

    Take good care of yourself. Hope you two have a relaxing week ahead 🌻
    Caz xx

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  4. Caz, I like how you put things and your insight into our hopes and doubts. I think perhaps TV originally created the illusion of a perfect life. A bit of trivia… Glasses were forbidden on TV until one Robert Q. Lewis migrated from radio and wore his glasses onto the set. People loved it. Social media is not reality, but we tend to compare ourselves to those staged photos. Your honesty is refreshing.
    Life on wheels is what we make of it. Good equipment helps. I am blessed with an ultralight wheelchair and an accessible home. Sandy and I support each other; we do it together. When I read someone saying they have “been in a wheelchair” for some number of years, I cringe.
    The lady who is the subject of this post saw a person with wheels who needed something to drink! I hope you, all our readers, and I are seen first as the people we are. – George

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kindness, George, goes a long ways. It is sad it seems in such short supply these days but when I do find it, boy do I treasure it. It would also be wonderful if you could take another picture of yourself without the mask on. I so enjoy seeing you. I don’t enjoy anyone’s picture with a mask on.

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