It’s amazing how in most societies there is a consensus or unwritten agreement or unspoken law that handicapped people are somehow just half a measure at best. It seems as though the handicapped person gets immediately categorized and mentally placed on a shelf containing “half” participants of society.

It’s as if there is one set of measurements or rules that the handicapped person is judged by, and they are based on the ’fact‘ that the person is handicapped. The individual seems to get lost in this judgement and unfortunately is not often looked at as a person. The ’system‘ has made its judgement and that is that.

How can this be? The person is an individual, just like anyone else, he does not have a disease, he is not sick. Most shocking are our own preconceptions when we start speaking with an individual that is handicapped.

Why not try and get a small revelation about your own preconceptions? I did once and it was a stark reminder for me, that even though I have good friends that are handicapped, I sometimes still make the mistake of looking at the handicap instead of the person.

I was visiting my mother in a care home for the elderly. She wanted me to join her in their dining room for coffee and waffles, something we both enjoy, and have a little chat with her friends there. We sat down at a table and one of the residents sat there and was being helped because he could not move his body below the neck. I had seen him on my visits to my mother, but never really looked at the man. Now I did and I realized that he was not much older than me and was both very eloquent and fun to converse with.

Suddenly I saw the man and at the same time saw my own preconceptions.

Author's Bio: 

Agustina Thorgilsson, an expert in industrial psychology, began her career in 1979 as a consultant for internal affairs, communication and human resources development (HRD) with AB Volvo in Sweden. In 1988 she became the director for the Institute of Management Training, a division set up by the Ministry of Finance servicing all of Iceland’s public sector. She later founded a management training company that advised both public and private sectors on strategy, management and HRD issues, before completing a Masters degree in clinical psychology which led to the founding of Life-Navigation in 2005. Agustina’s vision is to help making the world a better place by showing people how to transcend even the most difficult life-experiences individuals can possibly encounter and move towards peace as a race. She had learned to use her intuition, insights and little used old knowledge known to man. By tapping into this endless reservoir of information and understanding clinical psychology, the evolution of the Life-Navigation System began. Agustina’s successes have shown that Life-Navigation makes an enormous difference.