It’s a national problem that affects hundreds of thousands of people – but no, it isn’t about the current elections.
Something’s been bothering me for a very long time, and now might be the perfect time for me to let it all out and get this problem fixed for once and for all.
It’s a national problem, affects hundreds of thousands of people, ruins the quality of life for many, and most importantly, it gets me mad! No, it’s not the mess that Obama Care has created for our healthcare system. It’s not about the spread of Zika virus, and it’s not concerning the current presidential election. Those are all disasters, but that’s not what I’m concerned about right now.
I’m talking about the fact that most places we go on a daily basis are just not handicap accessible!
I’m talking about the doors that simply aren’t wide enough to fit a wheelchair, and the steps leading into the most important room in the building, making it impossible for people with less mobility to get where they need to go.
I’m talking about the curb in the front of the mall, and even the floor rugs that can be a severe hindrance – or even tripping hazard – for someone using a walker or rollator.
I’m talking about the revolving doors by hotels which seem to be put there just to make life difficult for people with disabilities.
And I’m talking about the buildings that have plenty of escalators, but not even one elevator.
But I shouldn’t focus only on the negative. After all, there are supermarkets and department stores that have mobility scooters available for customer use, and we should definitely commend them for that gesture. It’s a huge help – and it’s free! True, there’s only one in the entire store, but fortunately, that one scooter has a battery capacity sufficient for a full 3 minutes of use. And the 6” baskets on them are super convenient – because after all, people with disabilities never need to buy more than a peach, a banana and a bag of potato chips, right? Why would they need a basket that actually fits a proper shopping trip?
Let’s stop and think for a minute about why we are building all this infrastructure in a way that makes it very difficult for people with disabilities and senior citizens with lower mobility to get around. I wonder, is it because we are so self-centered that we’re not concerned about our elders? Perhaps it is worse than that – perhaps we do not care about ourselves.
After all, who built that mall sidewalk without a curb cut? Was it not the very people who are now older and in need of a curb cut themselves to get into the mall with their rollator?
Today we’re the ones building new structures, but we seem to be forgetting that perhaps one day, we too will get old and will need some help getting over that curb in front of the mall, and then we will think to ourselves,”why didn’t I build this with a lower portion?”
Now, I’m not sure if I solved this problem or not. I suppose when I wake up tomorrow, I won’t see all the buildings being built without stairs or with elevators, all rooms with wider doorways and no revolving doors at the hotels. But at least I know that the next time I help someone up the curb, I can tell him (at least in my heart), “don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
Everything we do has implications on further generations – but more importantly, on our future selves – so let’s do everything we can in a way that no one will tell us, “don’t say I didn’t warn you!”