We all have places we’d rather be, my friend Logan is currently in London for a month, I’d probably like to be where he is – if I had the chance.
The same goes for my friend Josh, if you asked him – he’d probably rather be traveling the world and photographing it than be at home.
The human condition is that we are always wanting something we cannot have, people sometimes focus on where they’d rather be because rather is a place of idealism, it is a place without the realities that are inherent in any real-world situation – eventually.
For example, a person might rather be traveling the world, 24/7 but – eventually, they’ll come to see that this lacks sustainability, coming home is unavoidable [if only for a little while]
What I am trying to say, is that I understand, that wanting to be somewhere else away from the realities of work life or home life is a part of human nature – but the major flaw in this line of thinking is that you begin to take your work life and your realities for granted, because whether you like it or not you have responsibilities and those things matter – and even if you can step away from them, they’ll always be there and that will not change, especially if they’re things that you choose to do.
The reason why I bring this up is that recently a prominent figure in the New Zealand Government said in a social media post that they’d rather be ‘on the harbour’ than in ‘meetings about disability issues’
I am of the mindset that this person, did not intend for her words to come across as insulting, vaguely comedic because of a complete lack of tact and like she is taking for granted the fact that she is representing thousands of New Zealanders who would love the chance to voice their concerns and opinions regarding disability issues. The comment she made most definitely for me, came across this way – but then I thought, that she’s most probably speaking from that classic mindset, of wanting to be somewhere else.
Who wouldn’t want to be on the harbour, instead of at the office right?
Here’s the thing though, for some of us, actually for all of the people this person was representing at her meetings, we cannot go somewhere else. Disability and working within the disability community may be this person’s job but it is my life and it is not something I cannot escape, this goes for every disabled person. Not that I want to escape my disability, I think my disability is kick ass.
You see the thing is is that sometimes people forget that, leaving your life or aspects of your life in pursuit of something else doesn’t always end well. For example, this person could have ditched all of her meetings and walked out for a nice walk along the harbour – but then once the sun goes down, she would have been left with those same people, still wanting to meet with her, because reality doesn’t leave you alone for long, work and regular life always await you – perhaps instead of taking that for granted, we should count our blessings about the lives that we live – day to day and then at appropriate times, we can go to the places we want to such as London or the harbour.
I spent a few years as a very young child wondering if hiding my disability is a better option – if that would make my life easier, I realised that I couldn’t do that because I don’t have Harry’s cloak and wheelchairs aren’t easily hidden, but also that wouldn’t get me anywhere, instead I realised that I have to use my own voice – especially now because it seems that the people who are supposed to speak for me in government are too busy wanting to be somewhere else.
In the face of that though, we will no be angry or bow down, we will instead start a conversation of our own using our voices.
I think instead of being mad, at this person and their lack of education surrounding disability issues and general tactfulness – despite her position in government – we should take this as a lesson, to never take our ‘normal life’ for granted and we should also see this as an indicator, that we need to start having conversations about large issues, whatever they are. We need to use our own voice.