Saturday, December 10, 2016

#LIGHTtheWORLD Day 10 Helping people walk is about providing them a way to do it

One of the great "awakenings" for me over the last couple of decades, is that most people with a disability or other physical challenge, don't really want you to do it for them, but they do need help so they can do it for themselves.  The Lord wants us to be self sustaining, but in doing so, we sometimes have to have a hand lift us up to move forward.  One day, on my way to work, I noticed a neighbor who had limited mobility and needed to use her motorized cart to get places, out in traffic on 600 North in Salt Lake City.  She was trying to take her grandchild to the nearby elementary school.  My first reaction was why is she out in the street?  I then realized that none of the corners at road intersections had accessible ramps so she could use the sidewalk.  She understandably felt it important to make sure her grandchild got to school safely but we had only left her one option.

Fortunately, in my case, I was serving on the City Council at the time.  When I brought the issue to the attention of our City staff, they quickly added these corners to the next batch of corners to have ADA ramps constructed.  What I also realized, is that we will all find ourselves in similar circumstances at some point in our life, whether by injury, age or disability and while we may be helping someone else this time, we may ultimately be helping ourselves.

As part of the City Council, we also enacted snow clearing regulations that were quite controversial in their time.  However I have often witnessed others with disabilities out in the road because the walkway wasn't clear and they needed to get somewhere.  While I usually get out quickly to clear my own walks, I often see footprints, even in the early hours of the day.  To make sure neighbors don't get citations, I often try and clear their walks too.  Without question, there are many small acts we can do on behalf of others that will allow for them to do what they need to do to be independent.

Here is a great video that talks about some of the good being done throughout the world.

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