Disability Rant in London; Kindness after all

Kindness Abroad

OMG!… whose idea was it to bring all this luggage on the planes, trains and tubes (subways) to get to our destination? What a gigantic hassle it can be! And even if you have paid due diligence by looking up which metro stops have lifts (elevators), there is no guarantee they will be working.

Ellioto has a fondness for using the metro whenever possible and I must admit that there is satisfaction in finding affordable ways to blend in with the locals. Personally, I would opt for hailing a taxi when Uber lets us down –which unfortunately, can happen, particularly when you don’t have an international phone handy.

But every time that we have taken public transportation, I have been heart-warmed by the kindness of others– no matter the country, men and women, young and old…


Arriving in London, early evening, following a 3-hour train ride from Sheffield, our Uber ride cancelled and we could not secure another one. So, off we went to the underground to find our way.

Hurray! The map showed “handicap accessibility” –NOT !

And with 4 bags, all those stairs looked more than forbidding; I just wanted a good cry.
This had already happened more than once, making me feel like a burden as I turned my laden bags over to Elliott and pulled myself slowly up by the railing–and it’s England–so the right-of-way, on the opposite side, felt all wrong to me– Geesh!

But… every single flight of stairs found someone new offering a helping hand. One man saw our angst and went out of his way to accompany us to our landing, dragging my suitcase along. Another beautiful young woman, simply grabbed a piece of luggage, deposited it at the top of the stairs, without a second thought, hurrying to grab the train as it was closing its doors. And there was a young man who didn’t speak English but smiled as he lightened my load to follow Elliott up the stairs, a bag in each hand.

I can only think perhaps they had good parents or maybe they have had help in their lives as well. Whatever it is, I am so very grateful and proud to say that people are mostly good and loving, human beings, counter-balancing the greed and malice that we focus on all too often.

And I’m saying it loud and proud– inspired to help others myself. This is how we build a better world.
And my issues enable others to shine their light, wiping the tears smartly off my face.

But there are those unable to accept that helping hand– in worse shape–in wheelchairs–feeble and sore.

Fix those lifts, PLEASE!
Help those who need it.
Remember we may all be created equally but our disabilities are vastly different.

Do I hear an “Amen”?

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