When I walk near my home for exercise, I round the corner at a busy intersection. There are always cars stopped at the traffic light and the sidewalk is so close to the road that I could high-five a passenger if their window was down. I head for home after making the turn and by then the sweat and suffering show in equal parts all over my face. I have never enjoyed working out and I have no doubt that my feelings about it are evident in my every step.
I don’t use an identifier or mobility cane and am able to confidently walk this route after doing it so often. No one in those vehicles can tell that I am legally blind. Yesterday as I got to that part of my trek, I could smell cigarette smoke and hear radios blaring from the nearby waiting cars even though I had Bon Jovi blasting through my headphones. I wondered if they were thinking the same thing I used to as I sat in my air-conditioned car on an especially hot day, both, “Look at that fool” and “You’ve got to admire her determination”. I was also curious if I/they knew that determined fool is visually impaired would I/they be inspired to maybe do something difficult? If I was the one on the road and not on the sidewalk, I believe that I would.
I don’t write this with any audacity to declare myself an inspiration. I am living not only on a prayer, but my life. Most of us are facing some adversity and don’t acknowledge, let alone celebrate, our accomplishments. We recognize other’s achievements rather than our own. I am certain that the story of every person in their car at that intersection would touch me in some way if I heard it.
Whatever challenges you are overcoming, I encourage you to unfold your cane every so often, and share the walk you are on with the people you encounter in your life. Because when we do, we quickly realize that at some point, we all intersect.