Q: What efforts do you feel you have made in educating the dominant or mainstream Canadian society and what barriers if any do you feel you have met in attempting to do so?
Well my original answer mainly revolved around mention and the purpose of this blog as an “educational” tool. To provide people some context into why I am the way I am. Both physically and mentally. And while this blog is still greatly relevant in such an endeavor, my friend made me consider something I don’t ever spend time mulling over.
That is what seeing me going about my business in life potentially provides another. She reminded me about what others see when I’m out. And what me “being out” actually means. And getting an opportunity to “interact with me is a valuable experience.” Her words, not mine.
I guess I hadn’t considered or spent anytime thinking about it, cos that’s not something I can get away from. And look upon with a fresh perspective. Life within this body remains somewhat constant. I know what I can and cannot do and I just live within those boundaries (well not exactly, but you get the point). And it’s not a big deal for me, you get used to it. But I admit seeing me function can be intriguing (as seeing something different is for me) to a person who doesn’t deal with similar struggles. Even “inspirational” (again someone else’s word, not mine).
How people react isn’t my concern. I can’t control it. It is what it is. I can hopefully just influence a reaction into a positive experience. I’m honored to be able to provide people with whatever they get out of seeing me. Good or bad. Point is they have to deal with that reaction once it surfaces. And that’s a good thing.
As for barriers I’ve felt in “educating” others, honestly I rarely get any serious discussion when people are “confronted” by me. I get the impression people are hesitant to engage me in any meaningful conversation. For whatever reason, I won’t speculate, but it would be mighty irresponsible of me not to acknowledge it happens.