New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

Disability Is Natural Books and Media

Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help.

George McDonald

Everyone Needs to Be Needed

We are all born helpers. Think of young children who try their hardest to help Daddy in the yard, or want to push the vacuum cleaner with their tiny hands. As we grow, we help with chores around the house. And at different points during our adolescence, we may decide we’re not too keen on helping, but we usually do it anyway. As adults, we come full circle: we help because it feels good, because we believe in a cause or an organization, or because someone tells us they need our help. We need to care about others; to feel responsible for something or someone outside of ourselves. It feels good to be needed; we need to be needed—all of us.

Volunteering at church, being a youth leader, cleaning up a park, and a variety of other helping activities create that wonderful feeling of being needed. Helping also shifts our focus to others—we put our own dilemmas aside for awhile. In giving to others, we give ourselves a gift.

Sadly, we have exempted many children and adults with disabilities from both the responsibilities and joys of helping. We may feel they’re unable to help. But this simply is not true!

When my son was in kindergarten, he used a manual wheelchair that he could push only for short distances. However, this didn’t cause any real problems since his classmates were more than willing to help. In fact, they fought over who would have the privilege of pushing!

One day, Benj came home and said, “Mommy, I wish someone else in my class used a wheelchair.” I thought he meant he didn’t want to be the only one who was “different.” But to be sure, I asked him what he meant. Click here to continue.