Differently Abled…


A visit to a local sandwich shop today allowed me to glimpse something rather ordinary in a very extraordinary way.  As I watched the counter-clerk stuff my pita bread with tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber, my attention was drawn from her, to some activity in the back room, adjacent to her service station.  What I saw brought a giant smile to my face.  A man in his mid thirties or so was grinning quite happily as he sliced a pepper through one of those industrial cutting devices.  He seemed so amused and happy to have created this green spiral of pepper that lay on the counter before him, that I actually felt joy for his achievement.  That pepper looked fantastic!  He sorted through the circular bits of pepper as he smiled at me from the room. 

Later, the gent approached one of the other staff and struggled with his words and diction as he tried to explain something to her about his task.  It seemed apparent that he might have a cognitive disorder (or even a brain injury) of some sort.  There was something in that moment that allowed me a grand view of this perspective landscape.  How lucky we should all be to be alive and able, in all our shapes, forms and abilities to share in each other’s lives and contribute to a better society (or hungry bellies!).  No job or task should be too little or menial for anyone to accomplish.  Albeit, we are all are born with different capabilities for varying degrees of tactile function or cognition (none better or worse than the other), but we should never consider that an inequality or injustice when you consider the end product of personal satisfaction (when the job suits the needs of the individual).  Everyone is special and unique.  This should be celebrated.

That is my appreciation for the day.

Love and Hugs



4 responses to “Differently Abled…

  1. And that is wonderful. YOU’RE wonderful. Thanks for such a humbling post.
    Simonne xxx

    Hi Love! So good to hear from you. I found true appreciation in that moment. Sometimes life races around us so quickly that we don’t take time to pay attention to others…and the simplicity of living…and the pride and harmony that thrives from integrated community. Hugs sister. Much love. ((((((((((HUGS)))))))))

  2. Hi PM,
    I’m a great believer that everyone is good at something. Sadly, though, society isn’t geared to allow many of us to find out what it is.

    Hi Anthony. I would agree that our “society” (in general…) is not as good as allowing some of us to find an employ our true talents. But, and this is a big BUT! (and I hate “buts” because they usually connote a negative context at times…)…everyone has a talent and I believe that it is up to us to encourage each other to find and nurture that talent. We need to empower one another. The case of differently abled (I like that term) people is a little different because we need to have appropriate social structures in place (at least in my area…more DA people are able to find and keep work because of an epidemic employment shortage…which is wonderful). It’s all about community…and it’s all about empowerment and I think we are capable of making huge differences in one another’s lives. Keep up the excellent writing Anthony!

  3. This made me smile. My grocery store employs a group of mentally disabled adults to sack groceries. I try to do my shopping before 5pm specifically because I find the experience of being around these wonderful people to be a bright spot in my life. One of the sackers is a middle-aged man whose job also entails gathering the carts from the parking lot. He wears a hat that looks like a duck’s head and loves to make a train noise when he brings the carts in. “Choo-choo!!! Choo-choo!” He always does this routine and the look of joy on his face is a delight. When I’m at check-out, I like to go to the line with my favorite sacker. She is quite methodical: “Paper or Plaaaaaaaastic?” (She has a problem with the A sound). The groceries are always thoughtfully and meticulously packed in their sacks and loaded into my cart in her careful way. The pleasure I observe when watching these very special people performing these small and seeminly mindless tasks gives me a vicarious joy also.

    My neighborhood grocer has been recognized in the community for the employment of this group of developmentally disabled citizens. What a wonderful contribution indeed.

    OB! Your description of your friendly neighbourhood grocery employers confirms, yet again, that you are one, very observant person! I love your description of the cart man…I had to chuckle at the thought of him bringing in his train of carts from the parking lot. And, then there’s the paper or plastic lady. When I see people (all types of people) enjoying themselves as they contribute to community, I get such joy from this. Kudos to your grocer too. If I lived in your town, I would specifically shop there, just to support his philosophy. Thanks OB! ((((((((((HUGS))))))))))

  4. Your story about the smile and the beautiful pepper made me smile today. How wonderful the man was so enjoying what he did. (It makes me want to go out and cut up some peppers with a machine too)

    I’ve seen quite a few differently abled people out in the workforce lately and I’m so happy to see them – and they’re usually happy to see me as well.

    Joy to the world!

    (Thanks PM!)

    Ruby! I will forever associate this story as the “Smile and Beautiful Pepper” story. It really is about gratitude and appreciation. Oh, and here’s my gratitude and appreciation for you….(((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))

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