Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Chris Palames, part 08 of 10: "Social Roles of Peoeple with Disabilities"

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Yeah I think that's basically kind of the social role in some way or one of the social

roles that's been proposed for people with disabilities, is to be inspiring and that's

one of the, I remember years back, was I was getting first involved in the disability movement

looking at the Boston Globe one Sunday, and in the Sunday supplement magazine I think

it was, there was an article about a fellow who used a chair, he was paraplegic and the

photo was of him sitting on the couch with his wife in their little suburban home, and

he had had a child and he had a master's degree, that I remember and my sense of it was, that

the story here was, what an inspiration that here's someone who had really struggled against

odds, and what he was gonna do was to achieve something that was really an affirmation of

you know, mainstream values, he got a master's degree, PhD would have been a little much,

you know, had a little business he ran from home, had impregnated his wife, that was all

very nice, I was really impressed when I was stopped by the police in Connecticut one time,

I was stopped for speeding but when they checked out and saw the chair in the back of my car

they came back and the officer with a funny look on his face said "sir, this may sound

strange but I have to ask do you have a gun in your car?" I laughed and said no they did

a little searching went off and radioed in and they came back because apparently the

guy had been apprehended but they said that some fool had robbed a bank some time before

and been shot during the escape, had a disability and he was so determined, how is this inspiration

for you, how this is stick-to-itivity, he got out of prison and went back and robbed

the same bank. I don't know inspiration is what inspires you, but I think that's, you

know that's a lot of it, is that society draws inspiration, why do we have the Super Crip?

"Boy if that guy on half a leg can run across country." There is are things of accomplishment

that I think are fabulous, I remember the Para-Olympics, not the immediate last ones

in Greece but the ones before, where they were showing these folks one some of these

new prosthetic legs doing sprinting, and I went "wow", I mean that's amazing, incredible

athletes and no putting that stuff down. But I think there's this particular interest in

the culture, in someone who runs across the country, or winches their ass up the mountain

for three days, or like I said, sails the ocean by themselves, which are, it's not about

the athleticism it's only about the determination, you know and somehow related to John Wayne

you know, staring at his toe, and only if you've got enough of that will power and that

stuff and that just you know, that's an American thing, and it's a little warped. You know,

so we have folks who come out of the hospital and now they've been told it's all about cure,

cure, cure. No it's about living your life as healthy as you can. You know as medical

advances are made, make use of them. But you know, don't put off the life you could have

today, for some vague promise that if only you keep up that exercise, in maybe 20 years

from now. That's not what it's about. You do it for today, you do it for what you have

now. Like they said, "make love to the women while I'm a living, get drunk on a bottle

of booze."

The Description of Chris Palames, part 08 of 10: "Social Roles of Peoeple with Disabilities"