There are a lot of preconceptions about illness and disability, but as a story shared by Lexi Baskin on the Love What Matters Facebook page shows, it's important to remember that you shouldn't always judge by what you can physically see.
"Just a gentle reminder that you have no idea what is going on in other people's lives," Baskin wrote. "Just because you can't physically observe something does not mean that a person is not feeling it."
Baskin posted photos of some seriously rude papers that were taped onto the windshield and all of the windows of her car after she parked in a handicap parking space, claiming that she didn't deserve the spot because the people who posted them didn't believe she's handicapped. She's currently in treatment for a brain tumor and is absolutely entitled to park in a handicap space.
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"This is my car and I am legally allowed to park in handicap spaces due to cancer treatment and exhaustion," Baskin wrote. "I had a grade 2 ependymoma on my brain stem." An ependymoma is a tumor that primarily affects the central nervous system, and can cause problems like fatigue and chronic pain. Baskin's tumor was removed and she was nearing the end of her treatment when her car was flagged, she wrote.
"Just because I look fine in the two minutes I walk from my car to the building does not mean I'm not battling cancer and undergoing radiation treatment," she wrote.
The flyers scattered about Baskin's car, meant to publicly shame her for taking a handicap space that someone deemed her ineligible for, called her a "selfish, terrible person," and "just lazy." They even acknowledge that she has the proper tags on her vehicle, but that they "must be borrowed or fake."
"We have seen you and your friend come and go, and there is nothing handicapped about either of you," the sheet reads.
Even after dealing with these ridiculous papers, on top of undergoing cancer treatment, Baskin isn't angry with whoever judged her. Instead, she simply calls for something we could all use a little more of these days — compassion.
"Be kind to people. Make people cry tears of joy, and not frustration or sadness. Love one another," she wrote. "I will choose to love this person and pray for them. I hope that the darkness in their heart is replaced with unconditional love and happiness."
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