By Kodey Toney
She Ain't What She Used to Be
When I was a kid I can remember listening to the radio in my parents' car. If we weren't listening to Alabama or Don Williams on the 8-track player then it was the local country station in Kansas City. Every so often we were lucky enough that a familiar voice would come on. One distinct radio personality that was known throughout the land to tell amazing stories...Paul Harvey.
For those who don't know, Mr. Harvey would come on the radio and deliver "The Rest of the Story" in a way that only he could.
He would start by giving the person's name, but in a real cryptic way. He would only give a "real" name, so if the person was known as Theodore then he would refer to him as Ted, or if it was James then he would say Jim. He didn't want anyone to know too much about this person, but to draw their own conclusions from the story alone. This was a very unbiased way if delivering a great story about someone we all know, without revealing too much at the beginning.
Then, at the end, he would unleash the big news, and everyone would have that "ah-ha" moment.
I didn't understand the stories at the time, but thanks to the internet I've revisited many of those old stories (yes I know I'm a nerd). They really are not what they used to be, they are better. There is great information and inspiring tidbits that can help you feel better about yourself.
As I was listening to one recently about a man that swam the Hudson River, non-stop, for six days and nights to get from Albany to New York City, I thought to myself, "This is how we should look at people with disabilities." You see this task in itself was impressive, but it wasn't until the end that Paul let the audience know that the man lost his legs in an accident.
Those details aren't necessary to let us know how amazing this guy was, and it's not important to the story...that is until it is important for everyone to know.
When talking about someone with a disability, you only need to reveal that they have a diagnosis if and when it is important to the overall story.