How many times have you seen someone zip into an accessible parking space, and wondered whether the person genuinely needs it? Well, unfortunately, some people selfishly abuse the few systems intended to make life a little easier for those with disabilities.
Other times, people jump the gun, and very occasionally those snap judgments come back to bite them in their ignorant backsides.
This is exactly what happened in Michigan recently, when the following anon note was left on Matt Milstead's BMW in the YMCA car park:
“I would love to see your wheelchair! I’m guessing male 25-35 years professional who thinks he’s got the world by the ass. But I could be wrong.”
And wrong you were. For the record, the owner of the car does, in fact, own a wheelchair and did, in fact, have his parking pass on display at the time. Milstead is quadriplegic. He's also successful. Why should one necessarily preclude the other?
"...if you are willing to give him your functioning hands and legs for the rest of your life in exchange for his 6-year old BMW and handicapped parking pass, I’m sure he’d make that trade," wrote Leslie, Milstead's very miffed wife, on her Facebook page.
No wonder she was pissed. Over the years Milstead has been verbally abused and had his car keyed by total strangers.
So the next time you see someone pull into a designated space, stop and think—hard. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
It goes without saying, many disabilities aren't immediately apparent. There is almost always more to the story than meets the eye. The wise would remember that wonderful Oscar Wilde quote:
“When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.”
Image credit: Flickr | taberandrew