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You can’t avoid it, crowds. And if you are handicapped, sooner or later someone is going to stare at you. People are curious and will stare. Especially at people that are different. Some people think that the handicapped are an outcast in this society. They are either looked down upon or are catered too because they are different. The only time that I might acknowledge someone staring at my missing leg is if one approaches me or if one is a small child. If a child, I’ll approach them with humor. I was at a store once and a little girl kept staring at my missing leg and she had a look of fear and disgust on her face. But instead of getting mad at her for staring, I let out a laugh and said, “Hi little one, if you are wondering what happened to me, well, the tooth fairy took it and if you see him around, tell him he owes me a quarter.” She let out a laugh. I then told her what happened to me and to make sure she takes care of herself. Now that was with a kid, if an adult stares, I’ll say something like, “What are you staring at? There’s nothing there.” and then laugh, if the adult smiles then I smile back.

And if they don’t, then how does that affect me you may ask? Well, it doesn’t. Because before I was an amputee, I never felt the need to “fit in”. I have never wished to stand out, but to stand apart. So when one stares, I usually disregard their ignorance. When confronted with a questioning individual, the truth will set you free. And where do you get the strength to convey your story? It comes from getting up from all the loss that you have encountered. For by getting up, we develop the self-confidence to overcome those that just look and stare, and then we laugh.

Every time you can’t do,

what you want to do,

every time you are feeling down,and a kind of blue,

stand apart, stand proud.

By putting one foot in front,

you are one step ahead,

when you do what you want,

to prove what you said,

you stand alone, you stand proud.

When you dance life’s dreams,

by the determination of will,

and to stand with true heart,

is to be better than you seem,

then you are strong, to stand proud.

Da Nekidgoat April 2014

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