Thursday, February 9, 2012

Speech Is Not Always Free: A disabled writer speaks out

Throughout my life, I’ve had to deal with two issues:

  • the often selfish demands of people who insist I use my talents, energies, and resources on their behalf
  • my ever-diminishing store of energy as a result of lifelong progressive chronic illness

After trying my best to satisfy everyone else’s agenda, I finally had to explain that I couldn’t do all they demanded because:

  • I had to take care of my own needs.
  • As I became sicker and physically weaker, I couldn’t do as much as I used to do.

Unfortunately, the almost universal reaction to my explanation has been anger. People have said and done some very mean things to me because of their prejudice against me because of my illness.

What is most puzzling is that this type of reaction has even come from both family members and people who have disabilities that are obvious and more easily understood than the hidden disability of chronic illness. But I’ve never let that deter me.

No matter what anyone else says or does, I continue to write about my dream of establishing a global society in which every person contributes according to their individual abilities and there is no more poverty or war. And now I’m expanding into the medium of videos in an effort to spread my message of prosperity and peace for all.

First, I explain why I refuse to hide my disability. Since the only obvious sign of my condition is my crutch, I’ll make sure it’s visible whenever I appear onscreen. And when I speak about the rights of disabled people, unlike most disability advocates, I’ll be speaking for the rights of people with both visible and hidden disabilities.

So, following is my first video, “Speech Is Not Always Free”:

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