Better today than yesterday?
I’ve just heard a baseball announcer with cerebral palsy say, “I have to work harder than any of my colleagues.” As someone Deaf-blind, I surely feel this way often. Disability adds to the work load—no doubt. Whether or not it’s pulling off the baseball commentating, (something a blind person truly appreciates, by the way, at least if you’re an addicted fan like me—Go Bucs)—or whether or not you’re trying to keep up with the technology changes, as I was this past week of computer hell. Chatham moved the faculty emails to 365. In the process I lost my personal Verizon account, plus all my Outlook contacts. I also learned that the screen reader doesn’t yet work with Google Crome. And I could continue qvetching, something I’m getting better and better at with age.
But is there an upside to all this extra sweat? Are we with disabilities stronger, more disciplined and persevering, more self-aware, more admired, more able to take life’s hits? Who knows? The upside is so individually-determined, I think, depending upon the personal support one has, and too many factors to consider.
I can only speak personally and say that in the aftermath of disability, I feel stronger, more self-disciplined, persevering, more reflective, etc. I’ve said ad nauseam that my life is harder with disability, but richer.
In the rabbi’s sermon on Wednesday night at Rosh Hashanah services, He asked essentially if we were improved people today from what were yesterday.
With our shortening life, are we spending it in the ubiquitous amusements and diversions that prevail or in meaningful, purposeful ways? That question challenges us so deeply, I find. It’s one that will haunt me for at least the next year.