Except Acceptance

Acceptance is an interesting concept. I mean you can use the word accepted to mean so many things and in so many different situations. I guess I never realized that before…

So I submitted my application this week to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities graduate program. Woah. I guess I had talked about the possibility of pursuing my Masters degree earlier, but now I’m trying to make that possibility a reality. My degree would be in Veterinary Science and I would most likely enter the industry to do research concerning large animals (cows and sheep). Depending on how the Masters goes, it’s a strong possibility that I return to school and pursue my Ph. D. and ultimately teach at the university level. Crazy right? Especially from the woman who had a traumatic brain injury. I thank God everyday for how well that injury has recovered and I’m thankful I’m in a position that I’m able to continue my education at a higher level and maybe someday even teach others. The mind is a pretty powerful entity, and I’m so thankful I have mine. I guess there are 10ish seats in the program and usually 70-80 applicants, so I’m crossing my fingers for acceptance.

Cute little sucker, right?

Cute little sucker, right?

My family also happened to “accept” a little kitty into our home this week:D He’s going to be my little sister, Lindsey’s, cat and since she hasn’t spent much time with him yet, he doesn’t have a name. Mom calls him Little Dude but I just call him Cat. How original, right? I swear he’s a dog in a cat’s body and literally wags his tail. He’s a lazy little bum and spends most of his day sleeping or pushing himself on your lap to be pet. Let’s just say he loves how I’m always sitting down, me not walking certainly doesn’t bother him!

So, when I’m out and about there are countless people who offer to help me. I find those offerings very kind and I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate someone asking if I would like help instead of just assuming I need it. But you know, I find it kind of ironic that many people are so willing to offer help, help with whatever I may need, but what I want, they often don’t and can’t give.

They give me everything except acceptance.

People are so willing to push me (which I’m not a fan of) or open doors (which I appreciate even though I can get them myself) when all I really want is to just be accepted. To be accepted as a normal human being who happens to use a wheelchair to get around. I just want people to look me in the eyes instead of over my head, as if I’m not even there. I want people to see me and not my physical disability that doesn’t and will never define who I am and the things I can and want to do.

I get that that’s hard and I get that that’s a lot to ask. I think back to before my injury and I was no queen of acceptance for someone with a disability. It’s not that I thought poorly of that person, but I didn’t look at them the same as everyone else. I know I looked at that person’s disability, and not at the person and I just wanna smack myself for it. Ironically, it appears God decided to smack me with a tree instead…It’s not the way I wanted to learn this lesson, but it sure got the point across.

I guess I just want to challenge everyone to reflect on their own perspective of others, especially those with different abilities.

How accepting are you?

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10 thoughts on “Except Acceptance

  1. loriwhitman says:

    I love how you focus on the positive Sam. Focusing on and accepting everyone’s different Abilities! Very well put.

    I think Sam that many people are maybe not wanting to hurt peoples feelings and aren’t sure if they should ask to help out or not. This same thing could be like if I see someone struggling with their horse say. Do I offer them help to be helpful if I think I can help or is that insulting them because they don’t need or want any help. Especially if they are just in the brink of a break-thru with the horse and I didn’t know it or feel it coming. Everything with the horse is like you are with your dogs. It is personal. Only you can truly feel the energy and communication between you. Sometimes when we are with other people we aren’t sure what to do, if anything. I try to be available to help (with horses) without being pushy. Sometimes I think I can help and do help and then find out they were doing much better without me! Then i really feel like a putz. So when thinking about helping anyone I try not to assume I know what their needs or wants are either way. I usually wait for then to ask for help, and hope I am not coming across as ride. I hope that made sense. You are a better writer at getting your thoughts across than I am.

    I am so thankful for you to tell it like it is from your perspective. It gives us a lot to think about. .

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • schro907 says:

      Lori, I love your thoughts on this…it really is a catch 22, isn’t it? I mean, how do you know? And everyone is just so different when it comes to what they want. In my mind, I don’t think there’s a better way to handle it than just asking or waiting to be asked. Sometimes, it’s good to struggle…where as other times, not so much.

  2. joel newcomb says:

    The road to learning and acceptance never ends. It’s a daily pusuit filled with passion and awe. Sometimes the awe is awe…. why are they so thick? You have always held the gift my friend and it is not one of knowledge or academia that will get you there… Kindness and respect are a matter of the heart with the faith of a child to share it and the courage of a lion to stand up to the odd looks. You love sheep. Why is Christ so often referred to as the lamb?? Kindness, faith, courage and truth are in you. That in concert with your extraordinary intellectual and instinctual gifts will make you one of the 10ish. You have much to offer and will do so. God has a real plan for you. Thanks for your site and allowing me to watch the journey. Joel

  3. schro907 says:

    “But I can’t choose how I’m seen. None of us can.”–Thank you for sharing that post with me, that’s so true. It’s really up to us how we choose to deal with it, isn’t it?

  4. Jeanne LaMoore says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Sam. I have high hopes for you (and a lot of confidence in you) for a wonderful, fulfilling future. May God’s blessings continue to pour into your life and into all of your family’s lives.

  5. Lori Whitman says:

    Sam, I hope you don’t mind that I am sending the link to your blog to people that I think you could help. I was in the Hortonville Coffee shop on Saturday and met man who happens to be a cancer survivor. He for the most part is very positive and looks at the positives of his life. He said he comes out of his chemo treatments with a smile on his face. He does have some down days, but has his down days though as you can imagine. I told him on the days he is finding himself in depression that he may be uplifted by your words. We both felt we (my friends and I and the man we met) were meant to meet. I think I was meant to send him your blog. 🙂 So if you see a strange email address from time to time, it is probably just one of your friends passing your messages along to others. ;:)

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