Important Safeguards

Dan likes to read instructions, open boxes and set things up. This is great for me because I don't. One of the reasons for my dislike of these activities is the often disturbing messages about people with disabilities found in safety warnings.

I recently bought a coffee pot. Where and from which company is unimportant because I have found that many companies have a paternalistic attitude toward us, so to point fingers seems to me to be a useless exercise. Here is the text of the very first safety warning (verbatim):

"The appliance is not intended for use by persons (including children) with reduced physical, sensory or mental capacities, or lack of experience or knowledge, unless they have been given supervision or instructions concerning use of the appliance by a person responsible for their safety."

I do realize that there is a certain amount of butt covering going on here, especially in this litigious environment. But is it really necessary to totally ignore the role of personal responsibility and good judgement? Don't get me started on putting us in the same category as children.

What does all of this have to do with animal loss? I realized something that Max did for me while he was alive and now that he's gone, I have to find a way to do for myself. Max saw me as whole, despite my 'reduced physical abilities'. He not only depended on me for food, water and care, I taught him how to help me. That gave me great confidence and allowed me to see myself as able to contribute something important in my world.

This view of me is also in stark contrast to how many others perceive me.

Helping you rediscover your own wholeness, in the absence of your friend, is one of our group purposes and it will be my pleasure to support you.

What do you think? I'd be interested to hear from you.