I recently received an e-mail from a viewer out in Oklahoma City, Deanne R., who found my coverage of the Supreme Court's decision, striking down a key provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act, both offensive and surprising.
"Neil, you of all people... someone who has publicly acknowledged he suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and had cancer for God's sake... should have shown more compassion for those who need it on the job. The Supreme Court just did a grave disservice to handicapped men and women everywhere and you just swallowed it. I'm disgusted.
I'm sorry you feel that way, Ms. R., and I'm sorrier still for your disability.
But would you rather be defined by that disability or by you, the person who so happens to have a disability?
I'm not running from having MS, nor do I deny it. I don't hide it. Or pretend I don't have it.
But I'll tell you this, I don't expect — nor do I want — special treatment because of it.
I think "most" bosses judge workers on the caliber of their work, not their personal travails. In my case, does my show do well? Does my business unit do well? Do people watch? Do you watch? Those are the standards by which I'm judged.
Those are the standards by which we should all be judged: how we perform — in life and on the job.
An employer is not a caretaker. He is not there to provide me shelter. Just an opportunity. I help him. He helps me. Life goes on.
The Supreme Court didn't strike down the Americans with Disabilities Act, Ms. R. All it said is, be careful giving preferential treatment to Americans with disabilities.
They are not more senior in a seniority system. They are like everyone else. I don't need to be coddled. I do need to be respected. Not for the disease I have. But for the person I am.
Ms. R., you are more than your handicap.
You are who you are, despite your handicap.
What do you think? Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Neil Cavuto.