Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The other night I saw an interesting Guiness advertisement

. It was one of those ads that sneak up on you.

It is a game of wheelchair basketball which can be one of the most brutal sports known to man. I have seen a couple of games and on my best day I would not dare to play with the guys I watched. It is a no holds barred game and probably closer to being a Pier 6 brawl than a sport.

You put 10 handicapped guys with attitudes in wheel chairs on a basketball court and about the only thing rougher is a Christian fighting a lion.

Anyway, the ad begins with a brutal game of wheelchair basketball and ends with 9 of the guys getting out of the wheelchairs The10th guy, who really is handicapped rolls his chair to the locker room with everyone else.

That's when it occurs to you that the guy who is handicapped is one lucky bastard because he has 9 good friends. Friends that would get the hell beat of them just to play with their handicapped buddy.

Guys are like that. They show a lot of tough love and when I have been at shooting matches there are a number of handicapped shooters. Generally they simply get treated like equals.

When a real obstacle shows up everyone pitchs in and gets him across the creek or rough ground and then just lets him do what he can. They don't coddle him, they let him keep his pride and they bust his chops the same way they do everyone else.

I once held the first of a set of double doors for a guy in a wheelchair. He passed through and thanked me. When he went to the next door I sat there and waited. He was a new casualty in from Afghanistan and fairly new to being wheeelchair bound. I just expected him to return the favor and hold the second door for me.

Of course, someone tried to jump in and to the handicapped guy's credit, he told the person to butt out and use the other door. The doo-gooder looked shocked and went over to the other door.

He had a bit of a time getting the door open and when he did he jammed his wheelchair into place to hold the spring and  I slipped in between him and the wheelchair.

I thanked him, and he told me I was welcome.
A couple of mintues later the attempted do-gooder tried to chide me about not holding the second door for the guy I told him to urinate up a hawser. I told him that giving a guy his pride and confidence in himself mean't a whole lot more than fawning all over him.

By treating the handicapped guy like an equal I gave him a sense of pride and confidence that the do-gooders in this world never seem to understand.

Some people expect nothing out of the handicapped and generally get nothing. I expect excellence out of them and generally I get excellence.

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