Truly Powerful People (329)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I took a walk early this morning, another spring day in the dead of winter. I was lost in the bird chatter so I was taken by surprise by the pounding, dragging, scraping coming up fast behind me. I stepped to the side. I thought it was a gaggle of exhausted runners struggling for the finish but it wasn’t. It was one man. He was leaning forward into the motion of his support walker, red with wheels on all four supports and hand brakes. His feet thumped the ground like sledge hammers and he was careening left and right. He was either out of control or a master of control amidst his neurological disability; I could not tell which.

As he thundered by me he said, ‘People think I’m dangerous!”

And I replied, “Everyone thinks the other person is dangerous.”

He was so taken aback by my response that he put on the brakes and allowed me to catch up.

“What do you mean?” he asked. In my life I have known, worked with and loved many people with disabilities or debilitating illness. They are used to being stared at or ignored – which is often the same thing. One of the ways of coping with being the object of fear is to call it out, acknowledge the fear, and that’s what this man did when he thundered by me.

“Everyone automatically assumes the other person is dangerous,” I said. “People protect themselves when greeting someone new.”

We were walking together and he tried again, “I swerve to the right.” He said.

“I constantly run into things,” I replied. “I do it all the time because I don’t pay attention so you better be careful.”

He stopped and offered me his hand, “I’m Tony,” he said and smiled, “and I’m not really dangerous.”

One Response

  1. I love talking with strangers, it brings out the little ‘Gurdjieff’ in me!

    I remember when you were a stranger to me
    We were standing in a circle with other adults
    You invited us to draw closer
    You were so sincere in wanting each one of us to be successful
    In playing the childhood game ‘let kitty in’
    Even then you were clear with the directions
    The objective, the intention
    We all listened carefully and paid attention
    To the quality of your presence
    We played, laughed and waited
    For surely something great was next!

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