Friday, November 8, 2013

Article #268 Challenged or Handicapped?

            The politically correct word these days is challenged NOT handicapped. Years ago individuals with disabilities were called physically or mentally handicapped and considered limited in their abilities to achieve. Life was competitive and those born with disabilities were to be forever labeled as disadvantaged. Instead, the word CHALLENGED indicates problems to overcome, but not necessarily limiting one’s personal progress.
            How many of us label ourselves as HANDICAPPED? I hear often, But…I didn’t graduate from college or never married or had any children or had a hip replacement. As if our circumstances were a judgment against any further personal development. Being in the older generation now, I meet too many handicapped people and fewer challenged individuals. Although, I think it’s more of an ATTITUDE problem than a real handicap that stops them from achieving their goals.
            It’s possible to handicap yourself by your NEGATIVE THOUGHTS about your situation, age, weight or any number of other factors like baldness, wrinkles or lack of mobility that requires you to use a cane or walker to get around. Yet, I see many continuing to meet the challenges of each day with COURAGE and positive energy. How does one develop an OPTIMISTIC SPIRIT? Is it possible to develop an attitude of gratitude for whatever life brings your way?
            As I watched an older gentleman walk slowly toward our community center to participate in an activity, my thoughts wandered back to his past. I wondered what his life was like decades ago, probably rushing off to work or some activity with his growing family. Never realizing that someday in the future, he would TAKE FOR GRANTED the ability to be continually busy and mobile. When your body slows down, it’s easier to remember days in the past when you were younger and long for that time rather than MAKE THE BEST of your challenges now and be thankful for whatever mobility is yours. Having a cheerful attitude and positive spirit about your situation isn’t easy.
            If you are a golfer competing in tournaments, you’ve probably heard about handicaps. If you are a poor player, many times your composite scores are gathered and you are assigned a handicap number. So that when you play with others who are better players, you have an aid to enjoy competing. Maybe our higher power gives the elderly the GIFT OF WISDOM and hopefully a SENSE OF HUMOR as a bonus to help us overcome our earthly handicaps or challenges. 

NEXT TIME: Become an Observer. 


  1. Lin, What a great post.

    Especially noted that line about meeting too many handicapped people and too few challenged ones.

    It certainly is possible to handicap oneself by our negative thoughts. I've not only been pulling out old paper piles in my house, I've found a few weeds, er, maybe more, of negative stuff that's crept in of late, so we've been pulling them out too!

    Thanks for the reminder and the challenge!

  2. Excellent post, Lin. Gave me much to think about today. I have a different problem with my healthy foot and am walking slower than I normally do. But I do have some wisdom and some humor so I think I am going to be OK