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Why Can't They See Me?

Why Can’t They See Me?

Sponsored by Alvord Taylor: Endless Possibilities

There is an invisible prison of loneliness created when people see only what’s on the outside and fail to dig deep enough to see what’s on the inside.

Societal labels trap us from discovery and keep us from finding love, friendship and someone to spend our lives with.

Recently I interviewed a young man I met when he was 13 years old at Springfield High School.

I was speaking at an assembly and Jaymouson Bowman rolled up in his wheelchair and blew me away.

Like most people I saw the wheelchair first and Jay second.

Over the years we’ve become friends and as he grows up the depth of his soul penetrates my soul and to me the wheelchair is invisible…

He’s my guest tonight on Get Real with Rick Dancer. We know each other well and boundaries are rare and wide, just the way God intended them to be. He broke my heart with some of the hidden secrets he told of living life in a wheelchair.

It made me think of my own life and what people see on the outside often keeps them from seeing the part of me I wish they could see.

As I write this blog I’m reminded of others I know, trapped behind a label.

A friend who is gay must guard his words so other’s don’t find out.

Even with me, he can’t just speak his mind or share his soul, it must be filtered so I can handle it. However I’m happy to say that is changing on my end.

Why do we do that?

Jay says people don’t touch him for fear they might get what he has.

Is that it?

I think it’s uglier than that.

I wonder that we are more concerned with what people think of us than we are concerned about them?

What does that feel like to be imprisoned by a label on the outside as the inside cries out for recognition.

If we took the time to think about it we’d know.

No one escapes judgement but we can stop it at our lips.

We pretend, culturally to see no color, to be open to people’s differences and all that bull shit. But when it comes down to the street level, where the rubber hits the road, we fail miserably at acceptance.

In Jay’s case we create handicapped parking spaces and curbs for wheelchairs but often, as you’ll hear tonight, they’re made to make the rest of us feel better and do little to help people like Jay.

I hope you will watch the interview with Jay. It will reveal the joy, pain and tenacity of a young man struggling to be seen.

Oh, and don’t feel sorry for him, he doesn’t need our sympathy.

He needs us to look beyond the wheelchair and into the soul of his being.

Isn’t that what we all want?

I know I do.

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I wish to express my gratitude to Rick dancer for this amazing opportunity! As usual Rick and I had an amazing conversation which is always a pleasure! I sincerely look forward to our continued friendship!


Wayne Gilbert
Wayne Gilbert
Oct 05, 2023

24 years ago, I was paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Thank G-d I was able to leave the wheelchair and learned to walk, again. I have a deep empathy for wheelchair bound persons, now.


Getting to know folks takes time and is an emotional risk. It takes focus off of self. It takes removing the masks we all wear. It's much easier to just give a "hi" and a glib," how are you today?" Then go on our way. Getting to truly know someone is a investment and requires opening yourself to another's pains and triumphs. It takes having a Christ like heart, attitude and love towards and for our fellow human beings. I wonder where that all got off to. - M

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