Embracing Our Power

Posted by Candace Cable in Life After Paralysis on September 23, 2015 # Travel

I have a couple of theories about people with disabilities I'd like to share with you. One is we have this seventh inherent and intuitive sense that alerts us to another like ourselves, a person with a disability, in our vicinity, we perk-up, we hone in and we must seek them out to make contact with them. I believe our intelligence is akin to sonar, the Sound Navigation And Ranging technique that uses sound waves to find objects and navigate through areas.

We do all this unconsciously, silently at first and once we detect other like us, we anchor on to the wave, steer toward it to make sure we see each other to say something to each other, even if it’s only with our eyes from across the room, “hi, wow!!! Good to see you here where you are not include easily or welcomed fully, I’m excited for you and us,” “I know you are here” “congratulations you made it” and “I wish you well.”

It’s always been this way for me, reaching out to another person with a disability, even if I can’t see them I know they are there, it’s very cool. And it was no different in the sea of 4,000 sparkled and Tuxedo-up non-disabled people attending the 67th Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles California on September 12th, 2015. Tim Cleveland and I found each other just moments after entering the building, introduced ourselves to each other and found our seats, of course in the same accessible row.

Why was I attending the grand and glamorous Entertainment industry’s Emmy awards? Because my sister Cassandra Conners, who has been a costumer for twenty-five years and now a costumer supervisor and her designer Christina Mongini were nominated for an Emmy in the category of outstanding costumes for a variety program or a special. Their television show is Drunk History and the episode nominated was Hollywood. And Tim Cleveland, my new friend was nominated for an Emmy in outstanding sound editing for a limited series, movie or a special for the television show, Houdini. They both won Emmy’s!

After Tim won his Emmy and was back to his seat, I darted over to congratulate him and chat a bit. Our conversation was lively and we committed to staying in touch. I received and email from Time just a few days after the big event, he said, “It was great meeting you, Cassandra and Scott at the Emmy Awards. My wife and I really enjoyed our conversation. I have received several of these things, but this one meant more. It meant more because I could pick it up in front of someone who shared many of the same struggles that I have had while living a life with a disability. Over the years I have gotten inspiration from athletes such as your self. I can honestly say that all of my so called success has come from my participation in wheelchair sports. I was never a competitor but sports showed me what I could achieve if I dug a little deeper, if I tried a little harder and if I never give up. Did I achieve everything I set out to do? Well no, but the success is in the attempt and knowing you did your best.”

My second theory about people with disabilities is we must attempt to reach out, be bold and support each other however we can in this life. This is a critical piece of advancing the status of people with disabilities and taking hold of our rightful and equitable place in society. And what I mean by advancing our status is that for much of the history of humans on this planet, people with disabilities have been shunned, boxed and hidden away from the community and even killed because no value has been placed on our lives or our possible contributions to humanity.

We haven’t done very well with this support thing when it comes to all the different disabilities coming together, embracing and assembling a united front to take hold of our rightful and equitable place in society. In the late twentieth century we began busting out of the boxes confining us and by the twenty-first century we have begun to connect the dots of disability groups working together, but we are far from that vital united movement that takes us to the front of society. We have to try harder to work together. And this is why I think our sonar is getting stronger, more powerful and we are finding each other quickly, drawing inspiration from everyone to continue forward uplifting all people.

It’s time to tune in to our sonar for “the other” and listen, feel and draw near, as my sister calls this connecting thing, “our brothers and sister” so that we can come together, now, to celebrate, inspire and support each other. As we entered the Swarovski crystal adorned Governor’s Ball following the Emmy awards, my sister and her husband wanted to take some picture of the two of them. I said I’d wait for them just where I was. As they walked away, disappearing into the cloud of glitter and lights a man walked up to me and asked if he could get me a cocktail. When I looked up and smiled at him, I then noticed he was missing his left arm from the elbow down. Bam, another brother!

Johannes found me, reached out to me and we connected. He wasn’t working that night, only visiting with the staff and there he was, supporting me with a bottle of champagne and three glasses. It’s happening, we are connecting and as Tim said, we have to dig a little deeper, try a little harder and never give up. I’ll add to that listen closely and embrace fully our power, Cheers!

Blessings to All, In Joy Candace

© 2015 Candace Cable | Like Candace on Facebook | Follow Candace on Twitter