Adam resides in what is known as a tranquil college town. However, on one Friday evening, Adam entered an altercation with a stranger.
Adam wanted to fight for his beliefs, but he could not have anticipated what the man had hidden in his jeans.
It was spring break for Adam, and after a day of spending time with his friends he parked in front of his apartment block. There weren’t many students in town during this time period, so the parking area was nearly completely empty. Adam looked about as he got out of his car, taking in the virtually empty parking lot. He became aware of a man emerging from his truck in the distance.
Where the man decided to park is car is what caught his eye.
The man appear to had no physical impairments, and he chose to park in a spot that was reserved for handicapped people. Adam was good friends with the person who frequently stopped there, and he knew how convenient it was for him.
Adam observed the man walk away and he thought, “If this happens again, I will need to take matters into my own hands.”
Over the next few days, Adam witnessed the man park at the handicapped spot daily. He seemed to not care about the sign that clearly stated: “Handicapped Parking Only.”
Adam was consumed by anger and frustration. He knew he had to do something.
Adam decided to write a letter to the stranger. His first attempt was filled with anger and it was written out of an emotional point of view, so he attempted to write a more level-headed note.
In Adam’s letter he wrote, “hey, not trying to assume, invisible disabilities exist, but you don’t have a placard up, so if you are licensed to park here, please put up your placard”
The moment Adam spot the man park there again, he ran over to his truck to place the letter on his windshield. Adam felt accomplished, knowing that he did the right thing.
When the man read the letter, his response made Adam even angrier.
Adam witnessed the man tore up his letter to shreds as if it meant nothing. Adam felt consumed by his anger.
He knew he needed to do more to grab the man’s attention.
Adam decided to write another note, but without his niceness. He rushed towards the man’s truck and placed the note on his windshield again. However, this time round he waited in his car for the man to return.
Adam watched intently as the man walked back to his truck. Adam just wished he could wipe the smugness of his face…
Adam wrote in his note, “I’ve tried to be nice, but this got out of hand. Please remove your car. You are not meant to park here.” The man was visibly annoyed by his note, and scanned the parking lot trying to locate the author of the notes.
Adam unlocked the door to his front seat, reveling in his splendor and prepared for his encounter with the man.
Adam tried to remain cool as he walked towards the man’s truck. Adrenaline was coursing through his body which gave him the courage to tell the man that he wrote the notes.
The man inhaled deeply, his face pained by Adam, knowing that what he had hidden in his jeans would end this conversation once and for all.
The man slowly bent down whilst maintaining eye contact with Adam. With a face void of any expression, he grabbed the end of his jeans and pulled it upwards, revealing what was hidden in the bottom side of his left leg.
At this point, Adam’s mouth opened wide, as he was left in awe.
The man stood there staring at Adam as he uncovered his prosthetic leg. Overwhelmed by the new realization Adam was faced with, he blurted out an apology and confessed how ignorant he was.
After hearing what Adam had to say, the man blurted out a few words of his own.
Trying to maintain feelings of frustration and disappointment, the man demonstrated how this interaction should’ve been in the first place. He quickly explained how it is always safer to ask than to assume, for no one should ever feel the need to explain themselves for doing mundane errands.
Feeling the weight of his own actions, Adam swiftly replied.
Adam explained how this spot was often used by a friend of his and further apologized for making such a quick and irresponsible judgment. Both men shook hands and parted ways as the misunderstanding was cleared up.
As Adam got back home, he had one thing he really needed to do.
Adam made it a mission of his to educate himself on the different types of disabilities and realized how important it is to educate other people on this matter.
This is a story everyone can learn from, for it is easy to make rapid judgments and take action, but it takes courage to seek out the truth and not simply assume.