Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Changing the Focus of our Attention

When we change our focus as a result some significant event we perceive the world differently.  Things that we did not notice in the past suddenly take on a greater importance.   We filter out a lot of what we see around us.

 This has been the case in a number of people in my family. My sister in law has experienced the relatively rare auto -immune disease Guillian Barre Syndrome or GBS.  The symptoms include a paralysing of the body in various parts.  In some cases it can result in paralysis of the lungs requiring assisted breathing technology. 

 While Jan’s treatment stopped the progress of the syndrome short of this stage, it has meant weeks in hospital learning to do things like rolling over and standing and walking.

Joyfully, Jan was able to come home about a month ago and can now walk with the aid of a walking frame.  She is not yet able to drive because of lack of feeling in her feet.  This means that family members take her on outings.

When it comes to maneuvering a walking frame from the car to the pavement or to the library by the steps, things come clearly into view. 

Where are the ramps in the town to enable easy access from someone who requires this type of facility?

Where are the disabled car parks – you know the ones that are always the only empty ones in the street when, as an able bodied person, you were looking for a carpark?

What about the supermarket?  These parking spots that can be used with a disabled parking permit become so important when they are a necessity rather than just a desire to walk a shorter distance.

You really look at the world with a very different lens. You knew that these facilities existed but previously they had very little meaning for you.  Your total behaviour becomes more creative to get that easy passage to where you want to go.

Your thinking about the car parks and the wheel chair access changes as you get more significant information and when it is a safety survival need that is being taken away from. Your perception of the world alters and is never the same again.