People inspire and are inspired every day. I am lucky to be on the receiving end of inspiration on a daily basis; by meeting, talking and listening to our customers. I’m not talking about wheelchair vans or wheelchair lifts, I’m talking about life! I am fortunate to interact with many people all over the country as I travel quite a bit working for VMI. My motto is, “I can’t Market in my cube”. How can we know what types of pictures to take, vans to make, message to send if we are not out talking to you and understanding your lives and how you use our products.
I have a thirst for being around positive people; who doesn’t right? I continue to be amazed at how it seems that people with disabilities seem to be more optimistic, pleasant and happy than us able bodied people. Why is that? I was talking to a long time VMI customer the other day, Hal Wochholz, who has helped us with beta tests, photo shoots, focus groups, etc. Hal is always willing to help us out anyway he can because he knows that his help makes us build a better product. Hal has post polio and about 20 years ago had to make the decision to get a wheelchair as his mobility had diminished to a point where walking was too painful. Well, this year, Hal lost one of his legs due to the effects of the polio. Well, when I saw Hal last week, he looked better than I had ever seen him; His smile lit up the room! I asked how he was doing and he said, “Today, I’m a 9 out of a 10”. A 9 out of a 10 – how many people will say that if you ask them? Well, Hal would probably answer this everyday, because he is just that upbeat, loving individual. Hal inspires me every time I see him; luckily I see him a lot!
As I was doing some research online, I came across this PBS documentary that is airing next week, October 27th; Lives Worth Living. Lives Worth Living traces the development of consciousness of pioneers who realized that in order to change the world they needed to work together. Through demonstrations and inside legislative battles, the disability rights community secured equal civil rights for all people with disabilities. Thanks to their efforts, tens of millions of people’s lives have been changed.
Together we can all inspire one another!