It’s not uncommon for people in wheelchairs to get a lot of free stuff. Sure there’s healthcare, government assistance, tax credits, that kind of thing, but I’m not talking about all of that. I’m talking about the freebies you get from random people and places when you’re out and about; things you don’t have to sign up to receive. We’re talking random acts of kindness.
The first freebie I received after becoming disabled happened before I even left the hospital. That’s right, the mother of an injured boy sharing the same room as me suddenly gave me her dress when I complimented her on it. It was the strangest thing. In my mind I was still able-bodied. I had no idea that if I complimented someone on something they had, they would just fork it over. I soon realized that’s what happens when you have a disability.
After going home and reentering life as a wheelchair-user, the random freebies continued. I’ve gotten free things from people from all sorts of places. Once I was at the mall checking out at Express, when the old man in front of me turned around and told me he’d buy anything that was on my lap. I was shocked, even a bit annoyed, but I accepted his generosity.
Random free things is a fact the life for most people with disabilities. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a wheelchair-user, this is definitely it. If you ask me, it’s the one consolation prize of not being able to walk. The freebies however definitely make you wonder why. Why do they want to give us free things? Do we make most people feel pity for us? I hate to say it, but I think this is why.
The other day I received another freebie. This time it was at a food truck. I showed up right after they closed, but they still had some hot food left. So I ordered a falafel, and they were gracious enough to box it up, but their credit card machine was shut off for the day so I couldn’t pay (no cash on me). That however wasn’t a problem for the Mediterranean Food truck. They said no big, take your free falafel and have a great day. Gotta love that.
I could go on and on talking about all of the freebies I’ve gotten, but at this point that’s no longer an issue. We know why – the masses tend to feel sorry for us. Just make a point to say thank you when the freebies do come your way so we get a good rap.
What freebies have you received because of your disability?