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A New Year? 

A few months ago I was falsely accused of something that in a million nightmares I would never suspect I would have to deal with.

You see I walk differently. My crime was walking. The perception I believe was fear based, fear that a person who looks differently might have been involved and targeted in an incident of mistaken identity. I was cleared of any wrongdoing. People decided to convict me without reason or merit. My world and family were turned upside down. For me this unwarranted attack felt like a relic of old thoughts.

I have accepted the mistaken identity, which caused undue harm. Perceptions are unique to individual perspectives. We rely on them to form an opinion. Why do we act impulsively, accusing innocent individuals of such harsh judgments? Throughout my life, I have thought like this. For me, at times, reactions are just easier than taking the time to think things through. I am certainly guilty of this. I can now understand why I was targeted and why the storm that followed hurt so much. You see, I try to think of myself as being just like you. I have a family, I work, I pay the bills and it just so happens that I have a disability people can see. I am curious if you can see through these shortcomings to give all of us an equal chance. My head is not in the clouds and I understand life is unfair, cruel at times and can present many roadblocks.

My gut so often tells me that people who on the surface thrive on reactions, deeper down are kind and forgiving. We are human. I am just like you. Everyone has a barrier, a limitation or a disability. It is what you do with these imperfections that make us stronger, wiser and full of promise.

I can embrace our differences. I walk differently, but this won't stop me from walking in my neighborhood, it won't stop me from living my life as I only know how to do. I challenge whoever reads this to take the time to walk in someone else's shoes, to seek a better way. I am no better than you. We are all in this fishbowl together and perhaps we can all move forward.

Thanks for listening.

A Concerned Citizen


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