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Rambling thoughts about well-being and gratitude

August 26, 2012

After a few days of feeling a little low and a lot negative, I am feeling good today. I noticed I felt better when I became aware that I was feeling grateful that my coffee bean grinder worked. And then I noticed that I felt grateful that I had a bubble bath with lots of hot water to look forward to. I wonder how gratitude and well-being are linked. What comes first? Does it matter?

There are lots of people in my community who have tons of things to be grateful for but they do not necessarily experience gratitude or well-being.

I follow some blogs by disabled people and some blogs by parents of disabled children and adults. Many of these writers experience frustration on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. I suspect that at times it is hard to experience a sense of well-being or gratitude.

Sometimes gratitude from disabled people is expected. For example sometimes an elevator is available but the person who wants/needs to use the elevator must ring for assistance. The person who provides the assistance may think “Be grateful, at least there is an elevator”. Another example. In my community all children attend regular schools. However, I suspect that it is difficult for parents to complain that their child is not being assisted to learn and grow when there is an expectation that they be grateful for the fact that their child can attend regular school.

I am grateful for the work that parents, educators, and law-makers did in the past so that all children are included in school. I am grateful for the good experiences disabled children have at school. However, that does not mean that I am satisfied with how public schools include and teach disabled children.

I am grateful for the work that disabled people and advocates did in the past to make accessibility a legal requirement. That does not mean that I am satisfied when buildings are only partially accessible.

To increase the well-being of disabled people, we cannot be satisfied with the status quo. I can be grateful for those who have previously challenged the status quo. However, I feel a responsibility to continue to challenge it. I can be dissatisfied with how things are while still experiencing well-being. How about you? What are your thoughts and feelings about my Sunday morning rambling thoughts?

 Sheila

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4 Comments
  1. Gabby, you’ve raised an interesting point about how the people who live in the majority world have so much less than we who live in the minority world have. I struggle with how to want more for the disabled people in my community while I am aware that those in my community have so much more than the majority of the people in the world. I will continue to advocate for myself and other disabled people in my community but I would like to minimize how my choices contribute to the status quo in other communities.

  2. Gabby permalink

    That should have read residential.

    As I mentioned, we whined. Some of my peers still complain….

    In Vietnam, kids share a bed, eash clothes by hand, have no hot water for showers in winter, etc. If you know about SSI, the money is 6 dollars per month….

    Some people ask me what services I get here. I try not to laugh while I think about how I taught myself to wash clothes, eat with chopsticks and get around…..

  3. Gabby permalink

    I’m grateful for coffee.:)

    I think a lot of people take things and people for granted. Having attended a residentiak school for the blind in the US, I can tell you that we complained too much. The food wasn’t good, roommates were annoying

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