Life really is beautiful. Part of what makes it so great is the fact that the happenings of crap we face allow us to better appreciate the good times. In relating the following experience, I do not wish to speak harshly of anyone. It’s just the news, according to me.
I have a disability that requires me to use a wheelchair. Some classrooms here at school don’t have desks that are wheelchair accessible. Two of my five classrooms fit such a description. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is usually great when it comes to facilitating accommodations, but getting accessible desks for me to use this semester has proven to be a chore. Though these actions aren’t being neglected maliciously, it has been incredibly annoying to not be able to do things like take notes.
Despite the frustrations I’ve had in dealing with these folks, I’m reminded that there are a lot of great people in this world who do wonderful things. One of these “good people” is Greg Pearson, a music instructor at SLCC. Next to Dr. Bioteau’s office, his classroom is one that isn’t accessible. We’ve commiserated together with each passing day that I’m sans desk. He joked that he has a loud voice so I should just go use Dr. Bioteau’s desk to take notes. As I later found out, he’s done much more to fix the problem than just commiserate with me. Entirely behind the scenes and without fanfare, he’s done all in his power to see that my needs are taken care of.
Just prior to this writing, he saw me in the Student Center. Apparently he felt that my needs were more important than whatever he had going on at the time, because he suggested that we go up to the DRC to get an update. This wasn’t the first day that my needs were more important than his “to-do” list. When we got there, the staff recognized him, indicating that he had previously been there to talk about my situation.
It’s not as though he doesn’t have anything else to do. He teaches classes, sings for the Utah Opera and surely has many other things on his plate. It’s not as though he is doing a favor for a lifelong friend, either. I haven’t even known the guy for a month, yet he has taken a good deal of his own time to help me out.
It’s true that this is your typical “feel good” story. These stories need to be told though, even if Greg would rather it stay private. Sometimes I fear that too many people have an attitude of just looking at what’s wrong with their surroundings instead of doing something to make them better. I don’t mean to say that I am wonderful when it comes to this, because I can complain with the best of them. For a moment though, let’s drown out all the bad that’s around us and bring what’s right in the world to center stage (pun intended, Greg). Let’s learn from Greg Pearson and realize that helping others really does make the world a better place. Let’s do a little better each day to grow up and recognize that we ought to take the initiative to lighten someone else’s load, and that fanfare isn’t necessary when we do so.
As it happened, an accessible desk was there as I rolled into class the next day. It’s interesting that my frustration immediately went away, but the example of Greg Pearson will stay with me much longer than the information that I’ll now be able to jot down about Beethoven.