Sunday, February 21, 2010

Differently Abled

I've always tried to be honest, at least with myself, about myself. There may be advantages in lying to others at times but what good does it do to lie to yourself? Realizing that you have certain strengths allows you to better use them to your advantage and admitting your weaknesses can keep you from being taken advantage of by those who are, for the most part, inferior to you.

A person reaches a certain age and begins to realize that they aren't as strong, in many ways, as they once were and that these developing shortcomings are going to be progressive, not a pleasant realization. There are a lot of areas of life where competitiveness becomes only adequacy and some where adequacy becomes a pattern of intermittent failure.

Age has it's compensations. Even a chronic loser builds up, over time, a wealth of experience that allows him to not fall helplessly into some of the traps that life sets. It's not the same as actually prevailing against adversity but it's something.

I wonder sometimes if it's not better for the maintenance of mental health, to just ignore the fact that you're getting old and failing. People that do that often seem to get the most out of their later years or maybe some people simply retain more of the nimble grace of youth much longer than others. Neither of these things is true or possible in my case, so I guess it doesn't matter.

I try to go about my business the best I can and keep a good thought. If I no longer have some of the attributes I once had, I console myself that I have developed some different skills and abilities that allow me to compensate.

An older person needs to be careful though. Differently abled is the euphemism we have come to use to describe the mentally retarded. A person needs to keep that in mind too.

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