Dear Ann Landers, I am writing in response to "Managing in Mesa," the disabled woman who complained about people staring at her or asking questions.
I have a different question for her. How are children supposed to react to a person with a handicap if they are not allowed to ask questions? While I don't agree with being cruel or rude, I have always told my children that instead of just staring, they should ask questions. They have since delighted me as well as total strangers with their honesty.
My son once told a lady in line, "That's the nicest wheelchair I ever saw." She smiled and said, "Thank you. I've had it since I was your age." While she didn't go into detail, she explained she had been in a car accident many years before and told my son, "When you grow up, never drink and drive." I'm sure that woman, and what she said, made an indelible impression on my son. So you see, Ann, asking questions can be a good thing. -- Upfront in Vermont
Dear Vermont, Being forthright and honest is always the best way to go. That is how children develop integrity. The woman gave your son some very good advice as well as a fine character lesson.