This is something that’s been on my mind for the past few days. The problem has always been present, but recently, I’ve seen more vocalizations on the topic. The problem I’m referencing is not more people using elevators, it’s more people judging others for using elevators.
The health and fitness movement has become much more present in the last few years. That’s fantastic. People are starting to live longer, so it’s becoming increasingly important to take care of our bodies. New health problems are popping up for elderly people, and professionals are coming up with proactive ways to prevent these problems. The most important of these procedures is general activity and exercise in early adulthood. With this came the stigmatization of using the elevator.
I’ve seen multiple posts on social media, and even heard a few people say things like “People that take the elevator are just lazy” and “I judge people who take the elevator without obvious injury.” I’ve heard both on campus in the past week.
I’m going to address both of these comments, but I’ll start with the first one. First of all, that is not true. You don’t know why they are taking the elevator. Maybe they are tired. Maybe they worked out yesterday and they’re sore. Or maybe they just feel like taking the elevator today. Second of all, it’s none of your business. If they want to take the elevator, they don’t need to explain to everyone else why they are taking it. If you prefer the stairs, then you go ahead and take the stairs. Third, maybe take a grammar class.
Comments like the second are what really annoy me. Sorry to break this to you, but not all injuries are obvious. These “injuries” are called invisible illnesses. In case you’re still confused, that means that they have some sort of illness or disorder that cannot be seen by others. Many people can’t go up the stairs, but can walk perfectly without an assistive device (a cane, for example). These people may look perfectly fine to you, but they have an invisible illness.
Not that you should assume that everyone who uses the elevator has an invisible illness, take it into consideration. Actually, don’t. Don’t worry about it. It’s absolutely none of your business as to why that person is taking the elevator. When you see someone waiting for the elevator, just keep walking. Don’t even think about it.
This is a problem. I know people who are afraid to take the elevator because they don’t want to be judged; they don’t want people to think they are lazy. That’s ridiculous. I know people who want to take the elevator because they are tired, but think that they can’t because they don’t have a disability. If you want to use the elevator, then do it. That’s why it’s there. If you don’t want to take the elevator, then don’t, and don’t judge people who do.
While this is about elevators, I would like to make a point to say that this applies to so many things. Let other people make their own decisions. You don’t get a say unless it affects you. Focus less on what other people are doing, and worry about yourself.