Thoughts and ideas from Dude With Sjogrens
What does it mean to treat someone with kid gloves? How do we help people to succeed?
February 17, 2020 at 8:30 PM
by Randy Klein
Sometimes in life we need to take a good look around. What we see may just inspire us to go further than we ever dreamed.

At times, it's possible to prevent people from reaching their potential. This article is about helping people to reach their potential.

Kid gloves was not considered a positive thing, but there are people who do need special considerations. For example, people who live with severe lung disease, or heart conditions are not expected to run a marathon successfully or safely. There are considerations put into place because they live with limitations. They have an almost certain likelihood of dying in this situation.

Protecting these people can stem from a desire to protect, or to ensure the success of others. There needs to be a balance. Every one is different in who they are, and what they are able to accomplish.

What are Kid gloves? "Used in reference to careful and delicate treatment of a person or situation." (Oxford Dictionary)

This is about people and how we treat them. It's a response to a perceived inability or weakness.

Is there a best-practise solution for people who live with health conditions or other limitations to prevent tragedies, while not limiting potential?

It was not considered logical or possible when Terry Fox ran a marathon every day for several years after having his leg amputated due to cancer; It defied belief. Terry Fox was a Canadian icon who was inspired to raise money for cancer awareness. His efforts have led to the raising of over 700 million dollars to date. He passed away on June 28, 1981 of cancer.

Stephen Hawking was a man who was diagnosed at age 23 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. His condition was not exepected to improve and he was expected to live a short life. He became paralyzed and also lost his ability to speak. He went on to become one of the most celbrated theoretical physicists to date. He died at sevety-six years of age. His IQ Was 160.

There are also several women such as Harriet Tubman, Venus and Sarena Williams, Lady Gaga, Frida Kahlo, and many others who were able to accomplish well beyond their abilities to the point of becoming legends.

Every country knows of it's famous citizens who were able to perform far beyond the limitations that resulted from their severe physical limitations, or from illness.

While these people, as well as countless others have taken what seemed to be the impossible, and were able to achieve success, this is not possible in every situation. That is why they stood out by defying the odds.

Appropriate steps need to be taken though to protect the life of a person living with a critical illness. It's very much about keeping them alive.

As a parent or caregiver, it makes sense to limit physical activity to someone who can't breathe during physical activity, or to limit someone from further injuring themselves.

It makes sense to protect someone from failing, and to make sure that liability is reduced by not exposing a person to an unsuitable task as a employer.

But are we treating people with "Kid gloves?" Would Terry Fox, or Harriet Tubman have succeeded if they had been limited in the choices that they had made, or the races that either of them chose to participate in?

Not everyone is built to be a sprinter or a long distance runner. Not everyone has the aptitude to be a scientist, to be "that" hero, or to climb mountains, but given the right opportunity and motivation, it's a proven fact that there are exceptions to the rules, and they are all heroes.

The most encouraging stories are the ones about people who succeed against the odds. People love the underdog (the person expected to finish last every time).

It's not just about intellectual pursuit, or physical prowess; There are people who will succeed in spite of themselves, and throw all the rules and "common sense" out of the window and become the victor.

There are people who are born with chronic disease, some develop it at other points in their lives: Diseases that limit stamina, and the ability to exercise, and to walk, and to communicate, and so many other things. Some still defy the odds. It doesn't always need to be somethig dramatic.

How does this effect the parent of a young or adult child, or the spouse of someone with severe physical or other limitations? In some ways, the same as anyone else that is an authority figure: there are risks and rewards. A person may fail, or they may succeed, and though it may mean being more careful to prevent injuries or loss of life in some cases, we all have to experience and learn through experience.

This does not mean that there is no repsonsibility to watch out for their well-being, but there needs to be a responsibility to let people experience both failure and success. Failure is often a part of the process of learning to succeed. There is a point where failure means that there won't be success. It takes wisdom to recognize the difference.

The experience of growing up and being told that multiple things are impossible, because of health conditions, does not always kill the dreams of success. It may lead instead to innovation, or a very strong determination to succeed for some.

What are Kid gloves? "Used in reference to careful and delicate treatment of a person or situation." (Oxford Dictionary)

Kid gloves may be needed in some sitautions, but one size does not fit all. There are many paths to success, and it is not just about being the best.

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I am not a medical professional. All information and suggestions are presented on an "As is" basis.

Be well.