World Disabled Day

December 3, 2007 at 3:37 am | Posted in World + People + Events | Leave a comment
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Some days ago, I was listening music off my mp3 player. Because of curse of my teenage life that is my stupid little brother, one of my earphones was broken (even though he wouldn’t admit to having breaking it). I knew that he was the one who’d screwed it up. Anyway, until I got a new set of earphones, I had to listen from only one end of the earphones.

I felt very self-conscious. I thought I looked incredibly foolish, to be listening from just one end of the earphones. Like something incomplete.

This made me think. Here I was, with one end of the earphones missing. And somehow because of it, I felt self-conscious. And then I thought, what about those people who’re physically challenged? What about them, who instead of a tiny little thing such as earphones, have an entire arm or leg missing? What must those people be going through?

Today is the World Disabled Day. People moan and complain about things such as the weather, traffic, concerts being cancelled and what not. Yet, I have rarely seen the disabled people moaning about their condition. Well, admittedly, I don’t know those many physically disabled people personally, but whenever I’ve spotted some of them – at parks, shops, restaurants or out on the streets – I have never been failed to be struck by their remarkable tenacity, their strength to bear their condition, and their general – and astounding – enthusiasm towards life.

It’s a shame, really, that many of us, so-called “normal” people are so weak inside. The tiniest things upset us. But these people display remarkable courage. Their struggle has moulded them. Physically weak they are, yes, but mentally – far, far stronger than any of us.

Being physically challenged must be painful to the person, not just physically itself but also mentally. The lowliest people are those who look upon such people with ridicule. I don’t find anything amusing in that in the least. Worse still are those who put on a fake show of sympathy. The physically challenged people must have enough to be dealing with, without us mocking them or telling them how awful it must be to be in their place. The ‘normals’ pitying the challenged ones – it makes me sick. Hypocrites, all of them. Why the fuck do they need to make a public display of being sorry?

The weak are not to be pitied. Pitying them only makes it worse – it makes them out branded as ‘different’ forever. Moreover, people don’t need pity. No one does! What they do need is sympathy. Sympathy, not pity – and here it’s sympathy in its subtlest form – love and care.

I have always felt for the mentally and physically challenged ones, but I have never pitied them. Instead I have been awed by their strength. And so today, on the World Disabled Day, have I done my bit? I didn’t visit a physically or mentally challenged people’s home – I wish I could – but sticking as always to my philosophy, I don’t believe that you have to show your support on a particular day. Just feeling for these people – genuinely, deeply – and directing efforts into making their lives easier, is all you have to do.

All the pain in the world cannot be eradicated, but that pain can be lessened.

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