How much do any of us think about our abilities until we find ourselves unable. Is anyone truly appreciative of the kidneys we have until one or both of them fail and we need dialysis or a transplant in order to urinate? Are most people grateful for mashed potatoes until the doctor orders us to be on a liquid diet for a month? I believe that it is part of human nature to assume that everyone can walk easily, climb stairs, eat whatever they feel like, read printed words, until they cannot. I have struggled with resentment towards the people who seem blinded to my disabilities. I grumble about people who seem inconsiderate or unaware that what is easy for most does not mean easy for all. Still I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed that they can do things I can’t. I don’t want sympathy. What I want is for people to think about asking what I need to be included.
To be honest, I can take many things for granted that others around me can’t. When I go into the grocery store, I am able to buy enough food to keep me from being malnourished and hungry. When I am driving my car and see a police car behind me, I am not afraid that I will be pulled over and aggressively interrogated and perhaps killed even though I have committed no crime. I don’t have to switch from the language that I use most fluently to the language of the person interviewing me for a job. I also don’t need to declare my gender since it matches my appearance.
Privilege comes in many forms. It can be a crippling disease if left untreated.