"Would you like a hand?"



I often ponder the evolution of the phrase “would you like a hand?” because taken literally, the concept of being offered a 'real' hand would create a world I have never known. Nor ever want to. 

People often see a physical disability as a limitation, but I see it as an advantage. 

Would I have still pursued my career in Psychology and in elite sport like I have to date if I had two hands? Maybe. Maybe not. Two hands or not, the desire to be taller and be like Elle McPherson or Miranda Kerr would have still been there as a teenager. I am lucky though, that not having two hands limited my desire to work in a nightclub during my rebellion years. Don’t get me wrong, I admire those that can remember the drinks people order and how to make a good cocktail - but not being able to carry several glasses at once, and slow drink making skills were not in my favour. Who knows where that plan would have led me – not towards sport and academic goals I know that for a fact. 


For 'able bodied’ individuals, spending a day in ‘our’ shoes would bring great difficulty. Difficulty because ‘able bodied’ individuals often take simple tasks for granted, such as going to the toilet or tying ones shoe. Riding a horse, carrying several bags of groceries, or even typing can be challenging, but they are all do-able to say the least. However, I challenge you to try a simple task such as putting jam on your toast with the use of only one arm. Or, better yet, try riding a bike or swimming without peripheral vision. Get back to me on how that pans out. For those who have learnt to do these simple and complex tasks with a socially coined ‘disability’, for us it's becomes second nature. 


Life is always full of challenges, not matter who you are, where you are from, or what you look like. But sometimes, having a physical disability can just be a little extra advantage. Patience, resilience and determination are key traits that are not always taught or developed, and quitting is always an easier and less challenging option. However, these traits are often ingrained in those with a physical disability. Why? Because if it meant you would never be able to drive a car, tie your shoe laces, ride your bike with your mates or eat with a knife and fork, would you just give up and not bother?


So, to answer the question, "would you like a hand?"..... No thanks :)