You think you know- but you don’t know

by Fern on March 19, 2010

I have been cursed at, yelled at, stared at, hollered at, threatened, and almost assaulted. What did I do?
I drive. I drive a car with a handicap placard. But that doesn’t stop people from assuming that I am not handicapped. It is a bit ironic since for the last thirty years I have practiced Soto Zen Buddhism which is based on the principle of compassion. So I get tested a lot. Go figure.

Almost all of the time, I am amused. Sometimes I am a little afraid. I look a lot younger than my years and so many assume that a young woman driving a car with a handicap placard couldn’t possibly be handicapped. Someone even stopped and watched me get out of the car to make sure that I was indeed, handicapped. Lucky for me I walk with a cane – a sure sign that I pass the disability test. I wonder what other people go through without visible disabilities. Yikes!

But most of all, I am touched by so much passion non-disabled people have for the rights of the handicapped. It is obvious that many have loved ones that have struggled to find a place to park only to be find able bodied people parked in the handicap space.

But I am also touched by how many people assume so much just by the looks of others. It is such a shame that we limit our world by our assumptions. It hurts us, our relationships, and our environment.
Breaking through assumptions, keeps us open to possibilities, opportunities, and valuable relationships.

You think you know? But you don’t know. As my teacher recommends- Practice- just don’t know.… every moment of the day.

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