Getting to Know Seattle: Pushing a Wheelchair Uphill

If you’ve been to Seattle you may know the steep three block uphill climb from Alaska Way on the waterfront to 1st Avenue. I live about at the mid-point, so if I walk down to the waterfront to a favorite bar for supper or walk up to 1st to meet a friend, it’s about a block and a half of steep.

I was out early yesterday morning to go to the Crumpet Shop for breakfast and then to take my brisk 6 mile walk. A thin but wiry young woman was pushing a young man in a wheelchair up the hill, a task that was taking great effort. He was trying to help by pushing the wheels with his hands, but I’m sure she was doing most of the work. He was thin too, and missing a leg, but the wheelchair itself looked heavy. By the time I reached the top of the hill and began to walk down 1st, they had too.

They seemed an apt metaphor for the crisis in Puerto Rico, and Trump saying the Puerto Ricans — who are without food, water, power, medicine, transportation, or access to cash — should do more for themselves. This young man could not, on his own, have propelled himself up the hill, even though he was trying. Even with the herculean effort of the young woman pushing him, they barely made it.

What is it about human vulnerability that Trump refuses to understand?

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