Before I begin my rant over living with a blue badge I would like to say that I have seen this problem from both sides. On a trip to watch the invictus games (military games for injured veterans) I saw a guy walking out with seemingly nothing wrong with him and to my horror what came out of my mouth shocked me. In reality his injuries were most likely far more serious than many visible disabilities but yet I made that judgement as he looked fine. I of course revoked this immediately and was furious with myself for judging someone in the same way I am frustratingly judged everyday grrr.
I think at this point I have to throw political correctness out the window as someone will take offence; so for the purposes of today’s rant I am going to use the term old and young people loosely. On that note I personally view young people as people in education/learning with a optimistic naive look out on life and I view old people as knowledgeable, experienced and Worldly. You obviously cannot judge a book by its cover but I need to make a few general sweeping assumptions here or we would be here all day.
A disabled parking space allows extra space around the parked car for move ability and they are generally situated near an entrance. I think we can pretty much agree that this is acceptable? Don’t ever get my mother started on parent and child spaces 😴.
There are however a group of individuals that make it their life’s work to guard this privilege and I find these guardians generally come with a touch of vigilante naivety. So let’s picture the scene. A 30something drives into a disabled space (looking noteably attractive and absolutely fine). This starts the feathers ruffling. You can then see them shuffling in their seats as the adrenaline has started pumping, they may have found someone without a blue badge parking in a disabled space. One can then witness the under breath muttering as to the issue that the 30 something doesn’t look very disabled. At this point and maybe it is a little cruel, it is really fun to get the buggy out of the car before putting the badge up. This literally makes the blood boil. Not only are you parking in a disabled space but you think it’s a mother and baby space. It’s all too much, the guardian makes their approach.
“Do you know that this is a disabled space?” On a bad day when a brain injury has meant you have vomited all morning, dropped a knife on your foot as your grip is damaged, battled with balance issues and peronsality restrictions it is increasingly difficult not to tell them to go and take a very long walk off a short pier. However, this would just make you feel bad (I am a great believer in Karma) so one just takes out their disabled badge and displays it. Job done.
My very good friend and fellow surviver has an amazing sticker on his car that says -“I may not look disabled but then again you don’t look stupid”. This I believe is a stroke of pure genius.
I can only plead with people that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Obviously if someone appears to be stealing the wheels off a car in a car park this may warrant intervention but they may well just have four punctures!.
Disability comes in so many forms and each person deals with that in very different ways. Everything is relative in people’s worlds and coming from probably one of the most judgemental people in this plant, I am consciously making an effort to try and Kurb my opinions that old people are not disabled just because they are old, oops.