Life in a wheelchair can provide an interesting perspective and one that those who do not live their day to day life from a seated position can easily relate to. You may hear people say things like “I used to love riding around in my grandma’s wheelchair” or “Using the wheelchairs in the mall is so much fun” or even comments where some try to ‘empathize’ with a wheelchair user by saying things such as “it must be so nice to be able to sit all day” but the truth of the matter is that if you have not had to use a wheelchair every day out of necessity it is difficult to understand life from the perspective of someone on wheels. Life on wheels can, however provide a unique opportunity to share insights of what every day movements, motions, pathways, and interactions with others differ from life walking around on legs. Check out some of my favorite perspectives from life on wheels below:
You become overly aware of everything around you
Because you are sitting anywhere from 2-3 feet lower than everyone else, most wheelchair users develop a hawk-like sense of sight, becoming aware of absolutely everything in their path from cracks in the pavement to slopes along the ground to people obliviously unaware of where they are walking.
You could be an event planner for a living
Planning ahead becomes an essential life skill that wheelchair users develop very quickly. One uncomfortable experience usually is enough to teach us that most places we go will not be completely accessible, creativity and plan B’s are needed in almost every situation, and emergency contacts and a good support system are needed to ensure we are able to compete in an able-bodied world.
You learn the art of being a social butterfly
Developing the art of social interaction is a necessity whether asking for help, learning to advocate for your rights or better accessibility, or representing the voice of disability in your community. And let’s face it, a wheelchair doesn’t exactly allow you to blend in with the crowd so it becomes a good conversation starter and a way to get to know a lot of different people.
You learn to appreciate the little things
Perhaps the most positive perspective that life on wheels brings you is the ability to appreciate the little things in life. Waking up in the morning and having the opportunity to get out and live life, whether it’s from atop 2 legs or from the seat of a chair, is a priceless perspective.
Are you a wheelchair that has developed a unique perspective due to your life on wheels? Share in the comments!