Written by David Hall
I’ll cut to the chase. I’ve done a lot here at Roanoke and Emma wants me to write one final piece. So here it is. I could try and tell you lots of things, but you probably wouldn’t incorporate it into your life so here’s a shot at something small.
Stop using the handicap buttons to open doors. They’re not for you.
Hear me out.
From a practical perspective, every object has what engineers call a “Service Life.” So that means that button can only be pressed so many times before it wears out and breaks. Maybe there’s a spring in there that loses its elasticity over time and eventually snaps. I’m not an engineer, so I don’t know. The point is that essentially, every time you press that button, you’ve taken away that press from someone who actually needs it.
As I’m sure you’re now properly annoyed with me by now, let’s pivot to something more positive. Celebrate your ability to open that door. You’re an able-bodied young adult. Remember that and feel some joy every time you open that door using your own hands. It’s a way to remind yourself that you’re alive, you’re young, you walk on two feet, and you should feel good about that.
Now, something a little more didactic. Those buttons are simply not for you. Choosing to not use that button when you’re able to open the door should remind you that everything is not made for you. Frame your perspective around this idea and it is my opinion that you will lead a life with a much more open mind. Listen to others, respect what is theirs and what is yours and you may find yourself feeling less entitled and less bothered by things that are not specifically curated to your taste.
Alright, that’s it. It’s a small ask, but I think, as you can hopefully now see, it can be interpreted as reflective of larger problems in our society. Open that door with your own hands and remember the goodwill it took to install them. We, as a society, didn’t have to accommodate for people with disabilities, but we did anyway. In our best moments, we do things that don’t benefit us directly simply because we value looking out for those less fortunate. Remember that and one more time: stop using the handicap buttons to open doors. They’re not for you.
P.S. God bless you all and thank you for a wonderful four years. I will sorely miss you.