Don’t deny the less capable

“Just run away.”

“Just kick him (in the crotch).”

“You’re a young/strong/big guy, who would mess with you?”

These suggestions tend to be predicated by either your current situation or my current situation.

When you think about ways people might defend themselves if attacked, you think what you could do, like run away or kick him or being able to put up a physical fight — because YOU (or I) can do those things. There often lacks consideration for others that may not be as able as you.

When my ankle problem came up a couple weeks ago and rendered me essentially cripple, I went from capable to incapable in the unexpected blink of an eye.

Run? I couldn’t even stand up, let alone walk or run.

Kick? If I can’t stand up, how can I kick someone?

Big and strong mean nothing. If I could get around it was with a cane and then heavily leaning on it; my gait made it evident I was crippled.

You’ve seen the shows on Discovery Channel. Who do the predators go for? The young, the old, the sick, the injured. I’ve become prey.

For all those who seem to know better about how we are to keep ourselves safe, please tell me what I’m supposed to do? Am I supposed to keep a cell phone programmed with 911? so while I’m crumpled on the ground getting my head stomped in I can try to call for help? Oh wait, that’s right — I’m supposed to pee on my attacker.

Don’t just consider someone with a temporary injury. Consider those with permanent disadvantage: smaller, weaker, older, younger, frail, crippled, wheelchair bound, other disabilities. Even consider some of us may not have the resources you have, like money, gated-communities, or personal bodyguards and security detail. We’re not all as (potentially) capable as you.

Thus, your solutions may not work for me.

Being human, we are tool users. We have limits, and we use tools to overcome them. That’s why most of us use hammers to drive nails, and phones to communicate beyond shouting distance. We use tools to overcome our limits. And when some of us have greater limits, we may need better tools.

Do not deny us the use of better tools. You may someday suddenly find yourself in a new and less-capable context. You’ll want those tools.

Or at least, when you start suggesting solutions, and want those solutions to be applied to everyone, make sure you take everyone into consideration, because we aren’t all like you.

6 thoughts on “Don’t deny the less capable

  1. Well written.
    I’ve considered this a lot lately because my Asthma and Allergies aren’t getting better. Allergy shots seem to be helping me hold the line but I’m definitely not in shape to run away (very far) from an attacker. Nor would something like Pepper Spray / Mace be a good fit.

    • Thank you.

      And that’s another facet to this as well — variance. I mean, with allergies you have good days and bad days, and some horrible days. But in the end, you have little control over things and never know when something may crop up that you could deal with but now cannot. What to do?

      One size does not fit all… no matter what the politicians and supposed gurus want to tell us. Best I can say about myself is, I don’t have all the answers… happy to keep looking for them tho.

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