Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hand Me a Beer While You're Up

HuffPo says it'll "make your heart melt."

Perhaps. Or, maybe only for all of you who aren't cynics, or burnt out regarding caring one way or another.

What's this tugger of emotional strings? It's a commercial from Guinness, those Irish folks who stock pubs with ales. It features a group of men playing wheelchair basketball. It's a hard-fought game, and as it ends, all but one of the men get out of the chairs and walk away. One doesn't.

And so it seems that a group of friends came down to the level of another friend and competed on an equal basis. I get it, but it didn't make my heart melt. I said, Hmmm. That was about it. 

Guinness, I suppose, wants you to know that good guys prefer Guinness. Of course, no company in its collective right mind would feature a mob of English soccer hooligans roaming the streets bashing noggins with Guinness bottles, wheelchair riders or not.

I suppose, as far as a corporation attempting to use disability to promote itself, this is a harmless enough effort. I'm sure it made a few sentimental hearts melt. Perhaps it sold a few more bottles of ale. Perhaps it inspired other less than sophisticate people to see that a person with a disability can fit into a social group.

And it must be acknowledged this sort of expose becomes part of the evolution that will see people with disabilities integrated more fully into society. 

Evolution, yes. What might help immediately is a fervent effort on the part of Guinness to hire people with disabilities, and, if the corporation wants to change the almost-immediate future, to offer scholarships to employees's children with disabilities to see that they are educated to become part of society. 

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