The other day in town I had 2 offers of help.
The first I was about to put my chair into the car. A man approached and asked "Would you like some help?"
Something about his body language and sincerity of expression rang all my alarm bells. In that split second I knew, just knew, that he would be one of those who tried to insist on helping even when it wasn't helpful, and wouldn't listen to my answer.
So I steeled myself for a fight and gave my first line of defence "No thank you. I'm fine thanks" with a confident smile. I could almost feel the more assertive lines queueing up ready for use.
He smiled back, wished me good day and carried on past without a pause.
It was perfect.
It was unsettling. I must not make snap judgements about people!
The second was in a small shop. A really tiny space. A 3 metre long, 1 metre wide corridor of floor between the door and the till. I had just paid and was leaving. A gentleman entered and was standing by the door.
The door is fabulously light and easy to open. I wish more doors were like that one.
I approached the exit and the gentleman said "Allow me" and opened the door.
"Allow me". Such a charming old fashioned saying! No pity, no assumption of inability, just respect - and as he was standing by the door it made sense to hold it open.
There was only one possible response: "Why thank you!" accompanied by a slight bow and a huge grin.
And there you have it. 2 perfect offers of assistance within an hour. One offered sincerely but listening to and respecting my answer. The other was simple charming politeness, with no connection to my disability.