I’ve said many times over the last five years that so much of life after stroke is about having the right mindset.
It takes a certain kind of attitude to reset your life and go again after such a massive event. It would be terribly easy to give up trying new things; too easy to sit in your comfort zone and not challenge your new self. It would be terribly easy to let the system walk all over you, especially the benefits system.
It may not surprise you to learn that I’m not like that; The Warrior brand may have started as a mispronunciation of Warrillow, but it wouldn’t have got as far as it has if there wasn’t some kind of fighting spirit behind it.
One of my best friends in the social media world is Graham Todd, ‘The Social Media Cowboy’ who runs https://www.spaghettiagency.co.uk/. One of the first things I learned from Todd (don’t ever call him Graham, by the way) is that if you are going to have a brand for your business, you have to live it; there has to be a story behind it and that story has to be you.
Hence, Todd is never seen in public when on business without his trademark cowboy boots, blue T-shirt (with logo) and cowboy hat. It’s why I am never afraid to talk about my story (hence this blog and The Warrior podcast); it’s why I’m always seen in branded T-shirts; it’s why I had my logo tattooed on my forearm.
As my work in the disability-awareness field grows, I’m becoming increasingly conscious of how important it is that there are people with this positive mindset; people who will fight like warriors for the rights of disabled people, those who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves for whatever reason.
And I’m becoming increasingly aware just how many of us there are. I won’t name anyone, because it wouldn’t be fair, but today alone I have spoken to three people who are working tirelessly (sometimes to the detriment of their own health) to help disabled people through the various minefields we face every day. One of them has even proved able to give me some invaluable advice over a difficult issue.
If one measure of a civilised society is how it treats its’ disabled people, then it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that this one doesn’t do very well at times. Things happen to us for no apparent reason and sometimes with no explanation. When decisions are explained, the explanations are sometimes bizarre and incomprehensible.
There are organisations designed to help us, but they are often staffed by volunteers and have uncertain budgets. So often, it falls to determined individuals with that Warrior spirit, people who are prepared to put reasoned arguments for the case of disabled people and who won’t take no for an answer.
Is that right in a civilised society? You decide.