This is a picture taken this week of one of our favourite beaches and walks, Seaton in Cornwall. The further irony of this picture is that the disabled parking is not by the disabled slope but at the other end of the row of 20 parking bays! The picture is not out of perspective, the wheelchair slope really goes into the water.
Now to be fair to the designers, the water way that you can see is continually changing shape according to the fierceness of the waves and tides moving the sand around. But I think my point is still well made. If you I want to go to the beach, you get out of your car parked in a disabled spot you have to walk to the other end of the parking bay and paddle even if you don’t want to.
The art of truly loving and caring for people, is to do it how they appreciate it, not how we would, even in their circumstances. The pandemic has reminding us that we need to to remember to ask people how they are are, how they are getting on, what they need to be supported, and not just assume we know best. We do well to be both brave and humble to ask. Sometimes spontaneity is lovely, sometimes it is just naff gifts. Yes, we do appreciate the sentiment, being thought about, somebody doing something for us. But how much more so if it is practical help we really need help with because we cannot do it ourselves, or food we really like.
Sometimes a nice gesture, a random act of kindness is just beautiful and really appreciated. But so is being asked, consulted, not just assume the expert, the funder, the leader, knows best. Patriarchy and matriarchy have had their day in most contexts. That is not to say, that sometimes the expert opinion is needed and needs to be followed. I have enjoyed this image for a long time