Another Perspective: Disabilities and Loneliness

Apropos of yesterday's post about loneliness...I was talking with an old friend who's involved in disability issues. She was asked by a business executive about adaptations for those with disabilities -- the prevailing mindset being that people with disabilities have special needs that are a pain (or not, depending on one's attitude) to accommodate.

She pointed out that we all use adaptations. When she visits her blind friend, he turns on the lights for her. (He doesn't need light.) He accommodates her.

What on earth does this have to do with loneliness?! you ask. Well...the same problem that underlies loneliness, underlies adapting to those with disabilities. We don't want to accommodate another. We don't want to think about another. And we don't think about how others accommodate us, able bodied or not. But to live in harmony, as social creatures, we do need to think about more than just ourselves; we need to think about how we live with each other.

I wish I had better answers for all the lonely, but the ultimate answer lies in a sea change in our society, one individual at a time.

Tags: , ,