My Reflections: Then And Now

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Accessibility and jobs are high on the list of people with disabilities today. Rightly so. We have a long way to go when it comes the high standards set forth by the United States of America. But really, look at how far we’ve come in such a short time. It was not too long ago that we had to wait for specific buses to get us from place to place. Now virtually all forms of transportation are handicapped accessible, allowing us to not be “segregated” as a group. (I use the term loosely, mind you.) From the start, it hasn’t been easy getting what we needed to become independent and self-sufficient citizens. But it should make us grateful for what we have knowing what we had to go through to get it.

I was reminded of this fact when I watched yet another syndicated episode of Highway to Heaven. The episode was entitled “Squeaky Wheel” and deals with a disabled veteran’s struggle to work. After several weeks of being late to job (because the lift broke on the bus and they had to send for another), Wayne Secrest gets fired. The sparks a whole new journey for the couple when they cross paths with Mark and Jonathan. As part of their assignment, they get Wayne involved with their disability awareness group for the advancement of the handicapped. For example, he goes to the reopening of an old business to protest the lack of the handicapped access. As a result, the owner of the company is impressed and offers him a job in public relations.

In the end, Wayne is given the Man of the Year Award and says some inspirational remarks. In part, he says, “There is no question that throughout our lives we are continually learning new lessons. We have to in order to grow as human beings. That’s why we have to go out and teach, never stop teaching making each other aware of of the special needs and problems of handicapped people. How else can we learn unless we know? Give us a chance to get to work and we’ll do the job, give us a chance to be part of the world and we’ll make it a better world.”

Another quote that hit me was this , “I learned that your manhood isn’t measured by your legs, it’s not your ability to stand tall and face a fight.. your manhood- your humanness is in the mind, it’s in the heart, it’s in the soul!”
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Citation for TV program: “The Squeaky Wheel ” Highway to Heaven. Gospel Music Channel 224 GMC, 22nd June 2010. Original air date: June 16, 1989

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