Robert M. Hensel once said, "There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more." As a society, we are easily offended when someone labels or judges us by our gender, race, or religion...but many are quick to limit and degrade an entire population because of their medical diagnoses. It's a disturbing, aggravating, and hypocritical characteristic of human nature. I rarely get angry, but when someone uses the term "retard" or associates something as "retarded", it really infuriates me. To mock and put down a person or population living with disabilities is cowardly and disrespectful. Whether it's an intellectual, physical, or emotional disability, we are all still humans on the inside. We are all capable of accomplishing whatever we put our minds towards, regardless of the conditions we are born into. We all feel emotions, wish upon the stars, and chase down our dreams. We all have special talents that make us unique and we all have certain things we're unable to do. No one should be brought down or harassed due to their inabilities. Where we fall in one ability, we rise and shine in other abilities.
If someone told you and Usain Bolt to race down the block and back, you would feel like that is unfair and you have the immediate disadvantage before even starting the race right? So why make someone else feel like they are already at a disadvantage solely because of their disability? You do not know what someone is capable of until they achieve it. We all do not start at the same starting line. Some get to start a little closer to the finish line, while others don't start until 40 seconds after the race has begun. It's not about where you begin, but how you finish. The person that struggled the entire race but passes the finish line...still beats the person who had a clear path but gave up at the first obstacle thrown their way. If you never give up and strive to consistently do your best until you reach the finish line, then you can never fail or lose your race. One's surplus of perseverance and positivity defines their character, not their lack of abilities.
Some of the most positive and sweetest people I know live with a disability; who manage to live everyday the best they can and enjoy each passing moment. That is a consistent trend I observe the more time I spend with the disability population. Their cheerful, energetic personalities are contagious and I have more fun around them than I do around the general population. I am envious at times because of their genuine innocence and their ability to take the simplest things for granted. They cling onto what makes them happy and they don't dwell on the negatives of life. Those characteristics are considered sacred nowadays and should be praised and mimicked by others. The rest of us get so caught up in our lack of materialistic objects, social statuses, and always wanting more, that we start to lack the ability to produce pure internal happiness on our own. Those living with a disability are not special because of their lack of emotional, intellectual, or physical abilities. They are special because of their kind hearts and their ability to make an impact on everyone they meet. Those are traits that will always lead to a successful life and will never fail them. A person living with a disability only gives them the ability to make a difference. If you're able to make a difference in anyone's life, then you are unable to fail at living your own.