Does Disability Force Evolution?

Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution reckoned that it is drawn out process: “…Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps[1].”


Well. It is fine if you have a few generations. What about someone that instantly shifts from normal to disabled (traumatic injury) or changes gradually (progressive neurological disease)?

Natural selection, with only adapters allowed to live, is overly dramatic. Yet, the analogies work. Many with grave disability embrace it and do great things. Sadly, others are pushed out of the social order and wither. And, certainly, most people fit somewhere in between.

Acceptance of my limitations (mostly), and adaptations wherever possible, is the route that I took. At first, it was more mental than physical. I equated accommodation of my disability with surrender- my self-inflicted psychological blockade was thus the greatest obstacle. Once I began to overcome this restriction, I looked at challenges and tried to find ways around. Everyone’s hurdles are personal; there is no universal solution. I do not know each person’s story, but I believe similar roadblocks are a larger obstacle in many cases than they have to be.

[1] Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” 1859, p. 162.

Published by bradleygillespie

I am just a guy with a disease called adrenomyeloneuropathy. I want other guys with the disease to see the good parts of disability. Not the gloom. Not the doom. Make sense?

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