Misuse of Words?

I’m pondering the heading of an article I came across recently.  It reads as though a cruise port had disabled any access to its use.  This is not the intention, as the article content is about access for people with different abilities.  But I found the way language like this can be used without a thought for alternative meanings is really intriguing.  Thoughts?

Identity: All in Perception?

I was thinking about my first post, and how I could argue that I’m the lowest of the low in the human race and turn around using the same categorizations that I fit and describe myself as a very privileged individual.  Thanks to those people in my life who I’ve learned this skill from over the years!  It’s helpful to be able to argue one thing and turn around and argue it the other way a split second later.

Another influence to this post is a video of Bill Maher and some others, including Slash. It could be argued that the discussion itself merits it to be valuable. It could also be argued that because the discussion lacks a vital half of the population to partake in the discussion, the discussion is unfair without all voices present.

The video could also be argued as purely humorous as well. Nevertheless, it felt fitting for the post as it shows Slash (who I’ve only known as a guitarist more or less) in a setting which doesn’t have him performing musically, but instead focuses on identity and perceptions even if only a narrow perception. Getting back to me though…

I’m a male, which you could argue that is notorious for forms of abuse to their partners and/or children.  They get in bar fights with their drunken buddies and cause damage to the pub and to each other.  The male came over from Europe and started out a search for new areas to colonize where they discovered North America.  At least it’s males who are noted to be explorers from what I hear and read.  It’s them who, with their (perhaps Western values?) values of greed and gluttony that decided land could and should be owned .  They worked out a way to give themselves more power over land that was previously inhabited by people with a completely different set of values and beliefs which (by my understanding) was more thankful for what was given to them rather than desiring to take advantage of everything they could find.

I’m also a white male, known to be able to have all the success and privilege desired in our
Western society.  I’m also a person with a physical disability, one who has had to attend days of various medical appointments, seating appointments, be assisted by Personal Support Workers for personal tasks that others can do by themselves and therefore without opinions of others coming into the mix about what is best and what is not. There’s a plethora of things that go along with having a physical disability that are less than entertaining and pleasurable.

But then I start to also see that there are situations where my teacher has recommended I go from point A to point B first so I can leave the classroom before the throngs of classmates block my path.  I see the bus driver telling people to wait while they lower the bus and fold out the ramp for me to enter first.  I see the throngs of people outside the bus at busy stops when I’m simply trying to exit the bus.  I see all these people and I start to feel like I must be worthy of being video recorded by someone in the crowd that might be in the paparazzi.  I want to put my hand over a camera so it can’t grab a picture of me because I want my privacy.  I feel like I should pull my jacket or shirt up over my head to hide my identity from the plethora of people who I forget are simply waiting to board the bus to get wherever they are destined to go on the given day.  Little do I recall that the reason that these people are really waiting is much more of a give away of who I am than a real celebrity.  Oh right, and I should mention that I’m referring to this celebrity comparison to suggest that physical disability can be looked at in a privileged way, though you could take “celebrity” and argue the pros and cons of it to make it out as good or bad too.  But back on topic: Who can hide a wheelchair with a jacket?  I haven’t tried, but I don’t think I can that well.  I might require two or three to cover different sections if I want it all hidden.  One of those rain ponchos would be a better bet, but they often get caught in my wheels or under my wheels if I’m not watchful of where it’s sitting.

Long story short, who I am is all in perspective.  What I do with who I am is my choice, and can only be influenced by me, myself and I.  I know that’s a lot of people, but it is what it is.  I can take suggestions from others—I can hear out the opinions of others.  But if I think about the celebrity concept—if I drowned myself in the opinions of others, well I might as well be dead because some opinions of celebrities out there are pretty varied or just plain negative.  I feel we forget that they’re human, even if what the media tells us about them suggests that they’re complete and utter psychos.  I don’t want to live the life where I’m so obsessed with what everybody thinks.  I’d rather do my own thing, and influence people to think for themselves; to be who they want to be.  I mean, my given name happens to be Nicholas, and a quick google search for “name meaning Nicholas” shows that the name which comes from the words “nike” meaning “victory” and “laos” meaning people ultimately means “victory of the people.”

It might not have been as out of the blue as me picking a middle name for my sister when I was around 4 years old, but I’m willing to guess that my parents probably didn’t scour the meanings of various names to figure out what meaning they wanted to go along with me.  They might have; I’ve never asked.  But I feel it’s me taking what was given to me and choosing to make something of it. That aside, I’ve known for years that I’ve wanted to help people, regardless of my name or whatever labels I hold.

I struggle with this idea that you have to have something to say you’re something.  I guess because here I’ve argued you can have something, be something or be nothing with that something with just the amount of time it takes to give the explanation of it being something or nothing.  Philosophical isn’t it?  Not necessarily, it’s just explaining away the realm of existence (or something like that.)

I’ve been told I write well, and that I express opinions well through writing.  You can be the judge of that as you follow this blog.  I’m not going to say.  I just know that writing out thoughts and ideas is positive in my eyes.  I can express views on the world and everything around me that sparks an idea for writing.  Whether I’m the first trillionaire on wheels, or one of potentially many that are below the poverty line who are on wheels, as long as I do something I enjoy I might as well keep going.  At least I have something, my own self fashioned identity through my own perspective.