I love my independence. Maybe too much? I don't know, but it is a part of who I am.
I pride myself on wanting to help others. It is such a formative part of my identity and guides many of my motivations in life. I've even made a career based on it.
This poem was a humbling reminder that even with the best of intentions of helping someone, you can be infringing on their independence and second guessing their abilities. I've read and re-read it so many times.
Take a read and let me know what you think.
The Second by Marcia Cummings
Please, give me back the second!
The second it takes to hear the traffic move at the beginning of a cycle -
why should I trust you more than the traffic patterns?
The second it takes to hear where the nearest subway door is -
yes, I can hear them open and would rather make my own choice!
The second it takes to verify the direction of an escalator -
there is a convenient way to do this - it's not rocket science!
The second it takes to find the beginning of a staricase -
that's what my white cane is for!
The second it takes to turn around after passing that landmark -
then again, maybe I was enjoying the walk!
The second it takes to find the door -
it's often easier if I open my own doors - then I know where the door actually is!
The second it takes to avoid your groping hands -
I often wisdh I could return the favour and grope you, too!
The second it takes to avoid probing questions -
just why do you need to know where I am going?
The second it takes to be independent -
unless that's too much to ask?