Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For years I rode up the elevator to the fifth floor of my office building every morning and, sure enough, a woman always got on at the second floor with her guide dog. She had stopped at the cafe to get a cup of steaming hot coffee. As the doors opened all of us moved to the back of the elevator with lightening speed. Our backs pressed against the far wall, we watched her enter and pivot so that she wasn't facing us. None of us spoke until one day she didn't turn her back to us. Instead she asked in a soft voice if it was the hot coffee or her dog that scared us. "I won't burn and he won't bite you," she promised. Then she smiled and added, "Just so you know, blindness isn't contagious." After that day, I always greeted her with a "good morning" whenever the elevator door opened on the second floor. I wondered why I hadn't thought to do that before she spoke to us. I have never forgotten her.


  1. When I was younger and out with my parents in the mall shopping and we would see someone coming in a wheelchair, my parents would always point me in the opposite direction and whisper "DO NOT STARE" in my ear. Afterward they might remind me of how "lucky" I was to be able to walk. When I got older I would argue with my parents about this kind of behavior. I would ask them how they would like to be ignored or thought unlucky. They always wanted me to be polite and greet other people in the mall with a smile but not people with disabilities. They were asking me to send an awful message to everyone we ever saw in a wheelchair - you're unlucky and I don't even want to look at you! I always hoped someone in a wheelchair would say hello to us. Just to show my parents that they wouldn't be ignored.

  2. I Like this post a lot. It opens your eyes to think sbout just how many differnt types of people you encounter daily, and that everyone deserves an hello, or good morning. It is a gester that is simple and warming, even if the person reciving the gester can't see whose giving it to them. It is somthing we all deserve.