Friday, May 25, 2012

Cautionary Tale of Adorable Baby Bear

This young and small bear cub was removed from the wild by a family who found him alone in the wilderness. It's entirely possible his mother was off getting food for him and he was waiting for her to return. If that's the case, my heart breaks for the bear mom. This is way experts trained in wild animals caution that they should be left alone in the wild. Anyway, the family who 'rescued' the bear cub planned to take care of him in their home. But, when they got him home, they realized they didn't know how to care for the little guy. Fortunately the family called animal authorities. The little bear cub is now being well-taken, and thriving, care of at the NEW Zoo in Northeastern Wisconsin.
To read the full story and see more photos: Adorable Baby Bear

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Good to be Different!

I went grocery shopping by myself a few days ago. I don’t go out very often and seldom alone. I took my scooter because my arms aren’t up to pushing my wheelchair the 4 or 5 blocks to the store. I felt like I had a bright yellow bull’s eye or bright, multi-colored striped hair or something equally difficult for people to avoid gaping at because many people were staring hard at me. It bothered me a little bit but it didn’t anger me like this kind of behavior has in the past. Strangely, it made me feel very sad, sad and a little hurt, that people behave this way. At one point in my life, I would have seriously considered running them over! Lol

That experience it made me think about looking different, why people stare at some people and not others and what differences result in people gaping and staring at other people. This issue has always puzzled me because as children many of us are taught that different is good, being unique is something to celebrate. I’m a little different looking and I’m short but given the variety of people in our world even on my scooter or in my wheelchair, there’s nothing really remarkable about me worth staring at (I don’t think). What is it about physical disabilities that make some people stare slack-jawed?

I also thought about a group of human beings who are treated particularly bad by some people: Little People. Little People deal with people staring at them almost whenever they go out. In fact, some Little People report that not only are they stared at, but people take photos of them, without permission. That is just so rude, so utterably obnoxious! It would anger me so much I’d try to break the camera! Little People aren't disabled they're just smaller than the average person. Some Little People are! My mother told me this happened once when I was small. We were out shopping. I had long leg braces and was walking on crutches. According to my mom, 'some jackass’ came up to us and started snapping pictures of me. My pretty, kind, and reserved mom yelled and started running at the guy! I wish I remembered this incident! What nerve that man had! My mother used to get angry and upset just telling this story. But what's so captivating about being small and short?!

I don’t understand what’s so fascinating about being short or being little. I’m short, several inches under 5 feet. Big deal! The only remotely interesting thing about being short is, possibly, how Little People adapt to getting everyday tasks such as the dishes, laundry and cooking accomplished. For instance, I use pasta tongs to get boxes and cans off high shelves and love stepping stools. So?! This doesn’t explain the staring and picture taking out in public. If Little People are so fascinating because they're different, why aren’t other different people like obese people, people with bright flaming-red hair or people with piercing all over their face and head?

Little People weren’t helped by this extremely offensive and insensitive incident: A few months ago Rosie O’Donnell, in an interview with Chelsea Handler, announced that she ‘fears’ and has ‘anxiety’ around Little People. O’Donnell asked Handler if she would ”do a little person?”. Handler said no, saying “that would be child abuse“. A Little Person, Chuy, works on Handler’s show with her. She thinks that if not for her, Chuy would be unemployed and admitted, “I bite Chuy”. Chandler’s comments indicated she pities Little People. She fully supported O’Donnell’s fears and laughed with her. Rosie questioned how it’s possible for a Little Person to give birth to an average size person and wondered why the Little Person doesn’t die. I thought O’Donnell had children? Doesn’t she know how small babies are when born?!

O’Donnell and Handler’s comments are shockingly disrespectful of Little People, totally unprofessional, obnoxious, and hurtful. Handler’s treatment of Chuy are demeaning. Even worse, their comments suggest that it’s fine for their listeners and other people to fear, mock and tease Little People and treat them as less than human. It’s distressing and unbelievable. I’m sure considering their careers, O’Donnell and Handler are well-aware of the reality shows and talk shows featuring Little People and their concern and work helping the world understand that they are just human beings like the rest of us, who sometimes do things a little differently. And with a lot more decency and decorum than some people.

Chelsea Handler is known for bizarre comments and off-color remarks on her show in the name of comedy. But these things were said during an interview, not on her show. And there’s nothing funny about her comments or O’Donnell’s about Chuy or Little People. Are these two women so ignorant they’re unaware of how hurtful their remarks were? I don’t think so and the latter excuses them too easily. It’s more likely they didn’t care how their comments came across. O’Donnell’s comedic and talk-show careers have kept her in the public eye and on-camera for years, making any excuse for her behavior towards Little People wrong. But don‘t try to mock or belittle anything Rosie O‘Donnell believes in because she‘ll have your head on a platter. Oh yeah, Rosie’s apology, on twitter no less, was similarly irresponsible and unprofessional.

It’s saddens me that in this day and age, there are still people who think and behave like these two women...and they’re paid to be on camera and entertain. I don’t get it. (Phew!) I think it’s great to be different and unique, whether you choose it or are born that way. And I’m inspired by Little People. I think there’s a lot they can teach the world about life and living!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Back again...Charmed, I'm sure!

I’m going to try getting this blog going again! I basically became over-whelmed in December when it felt like the entire focus of my blog was disability and illness. I don’t want to be a woman who identifies herself solely as disabled and ill since that’s not all that I am. Certainly I have insecurities and issues with being disabled and, even more, with being ill. While I was growing up, although I had a good and loving family, being disabled wasn’t seen by most of my family as a good or positive element of my life. I was taught not to embrace it but to distance myself from it as much as possible. I was taught that the ‘right’ kind of people wouldn’t like that I was disabled. I was also told there were many things I couldn’t do.

I have always wanted to speak out, scream even, against these kinds of beliefs and ideas. I’ve wanted to show people that, although I may be disabled and ill, I’m also much more than that: I’m intelligent, curious, interesting, fun, compassionate, occasionally quirky, I have a good sense of humor and more. I ‘d also like to help disabled and sick people struggling with similar anxieties and fears to conquer them. When I set this blog up, and started posting, it became a blog all about being disability and illness rather than a blog about the life of a woman who is disabled and ill. I began to worry about things such as, nobody is going to read this blog because I’m disabled, nobody wants to read about these kinds of issues and people tend to stay away from disabled and ill people, they don’t befriend the disabled and what did I think I could accomplish with this blog and so on. It was as if I became unable to blog about the rest of my life and how I filled my days. So I took a long break from this blog which barely got off the ground! I realize there are people who have issues about talking with, being around or spending time with people who have disabilities or are sick but there are plenty of people who don’t judge disability and illness. I sometimes wonder if I judge it in a way. If I do, I need to stop.

I’m going to try this blog one more time. It’s a work in progress so I’m not sure what each day will bring but this blog will be about my life. So I will talk about disability and illness to some degree, but also about books, cats, the flea market, music, movies, other people and issues and more. I’ll see how it goes, If you stop by, please say hello and tell me about yourself.