So I went for a haircut yesterday evening.
And when I walked into the Hair Cuttery, there were a number of mentally disabled people waiting there.
3 had already gotten their haircuts, and 1 was still in the barber’s chair.
One of the 3 said hello to me and started conversing with me even though he had obvious difficulty getting the words out.
There was an open chair between them, and he even offered me to sit down with them, which I did.
I asked about him and he told me the others we’re his roommates.
I asked how he liked his roommates and he gave a big smile, nodded, said how nice they were, and while pointing to them started to introduce them and encouraged them to speak with me as well.
I could see as they interacted and later got up how they shared some challenges, but also how each clearly had their own unique difficulties to deal with–for example, one was stooped and went along with a limp, while another was more reticent and seemed openly annoyed by the others trying to get his attention.
When it was my turn for the haircut, they were heading out and a couple of them waved goodbye to me.
I said goodbye back and was sad seeing how difficult people’s lives are.
It strikes me that even for those in the healthiest states, life can be very difficult at times.
So I imagine how much more so for those with physical and developmental disabilities–the things we take for granted can be extremely difficult for others to navigate around, reach, manipulate, read, hear, understand, speak, and do.
Life seems unforgiving at times.
My daughter said to me that while it’s natural for people to look out for their own self-interests, really we all need each other to survive and make it.
Our self confidence in our stand-alone capacities is really just an illusion. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)