By Riley Saban
When I was young my mum told me to see how many people I could make smile when they stared at me. This made me comfortable with people when they were looking at me . I never knew if they were staring at my wheelchair or my good looks so I would just smile.
My family and I had a conversation about people who stare or watch other people. We all had different ideas about if the people who stare are learning about that person, noticing a difference or just thinking about something else? Or, Is the person being stared at feeling judged or do they not even notice?
I would like to open this topic up to everyone, to see what you are thinking about when you are being stared at or you are the one staring.
To be clear, I don’t mind if people stare at me, I personally like it when they ask me questions about me if they are staring at me. I feel this will help breakdown barriers about the differences between all of us.
When I find myself staring at people I imagine that I am putting myself into other people’s shoes. Tom Hanks’ character, Forrest Gump, has a quote “My mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where they going, where they been. I’ve worn a lots of shoes. I bet if I think about it real hard I can remember my first pair of shoes”.
My personal perspective of this quote is that everyone is valued differently and we need to accept it’s okay to be different.