OPINION: Think before putting your foot in your mouth

FOR the past week or so I've had a big black eye and a bandage on the side of my head.

No, it wasn't the result of a knife fight, or a disgruntled reader, I had a small operation and it looked much worse than it actually was.

It also happened to coincide with a busy time of the year for me both work wise and socially.

Which means I have had to answer my fair share of "What happened to you?" questions from work colleagues, friends, family, passerbys, shop assistants, you name it, they asked me.

I got so sick of answering the same question I sent a group email out and posted something on Twitter.

Not that this is a 'woe is me' story, far from it.

It got me thinking, especially after hearing a radio interview this week with a former Paralympic athlete who's been in a wheelchair for 37 years.

She said one of the most common questions people asked upon meeting her was "what did you do to deserve that?"

As she was born with the condition that confined her to a wheelchair, she did nothing to deserve it at all.

This Paralympian said many people didn't even bother learning her name before asking such a confronting and potentially insulting question.

So maybe that's some- thing to keep in mind next time you meet someone who may be temporarily or even permanently incapacitated.

Ask yourself how many times do you think your intended target has been asked that question.



Arrest made after historical break-in

Arrest made after historical break-in

Herbal vaporisers and few thousand dollars cash stolen back in 2013

Surfing scientists uncover mysteries of the ocean

Surfing scientists uncover mysteries of the ocean

How a morning surf is helping combat climate change

Cafe to close for refurbishments during 'low season'

Cafe to close for refurbishments during 'low season'

"There are no plans to close the cafe long term,”: CEO

Local Partners