I Was Born This Way... Or Not?

As someone who lives with a disability that was acquired, I often think about my life before wheels. I remember what it feels like to get up and walk, run, dance, jump, feel my feet, and unfortunately stub my toe. I feel like, despite my current abilities, I am tremendously blessed because I have lived the best of both worlds: able-bodied and disabled. 

I think about the saying, "You wouldn't understand unless you walked a day in my shoes." Would my perspective on my abilities be different if I was born this way? I have many friends who were born with their disabilities and we've had many discussions about the differences. I cannot imagine being a young child and being "different" than my peers. I once asked one of those said friends what their view point was on this topic and she simply said, "I don't know the difference." It dawned on me, that she has never had my perspective. 

When I was first injured, all I could think about was wanting to walk again. For her, I am assuming that wasn't the case because she never knew what it felt like to walk. It just was not in her cards. Did this make her goals different than mine? Did this give her a different attitude?  

We all hear stories in the media about "heroes with a disability." People like Christopher Reeve, who acquired his disability, often become the focus of "inspirational" stories in the media... tales of overcoming adversity that was not expected in life. 

But what about those who are inspirational from birth and have no choice but to fight the odds?   

What are your thoughts on the different perspectives?

-Erika