Any Questions?

Confronting The Impairment Of What If And Opening The Floor For Discussion

What if …?  In my opinion, this question is the biggest impairment that people in society find themselves with.  Especially when it comes to following our dreams or interacting with people who are different than us.

What if I’m wrong?  What if there’s no resources?  What if I’m missing out?

We all do this several times a day.  It’s no wonder countless philosophical and sacred texts talk about overthinking as a detriment.  How many times have you wanted to do something and then thought of everything that could go wrong?  Not to say that we are not supposed to consider options; this is also a problem, but we can’t let overthinking paralyze our experience to the point where we have none.

Here’s an example: you may have trouble knowing what to say to someone in grief or a disabled person.  In my experience we do one of two things—we either avoid the person or situation like the plague or perhaps, if you have a helping spirit like me, you may say something that was meant well but unsolicited.  For example, “they are in a better place,” for the first instance of grief, and assuming mental deficiency in the second (and while I appreciate being called sweetie and inquiry into how I am, frustration arises when the presentation is more suitable for a two-year-old than a university student).  Yet, I have also done this in novel situations.

The trouble is that if we screw-up, or think that we might, we tend to overthink every helpful action following–at least it is that way for me.  In this way, we inhibit real assistance because the person feels overwhelmed by preamble rather than open to receiving help.  Or maybe we don’t help at all.

So what do we do?  This powerful question may be the answer.

“What do you want me to do?”  This puts the power in the persons own hands.  When it comes to simple conversational situations.  As in the case of conversing with someone like me, keep the question, just use a normal tone.

Above all, do not make assumptions in either case.  That is because if we get it wrong it will feel embarrassing, but all we can do is learn and move forward whether that be in personal endeavour or interpersonal relationships.

However, I cannot ask you to do something if I do not do it myself.  Therefore, I am wondering if you, yes, you reading this right now, have any questions for me on disability experience or concerning personal preference to formulate my next few articles.  I do this because I believe advocacy does not begin with monologue but dialogue.  This allows for similarities to shine through rather than focussing on differences caused by appearance.

So, with this in mind, any questions?

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