Since all of us are created uniquely, we grow up to be a diverse group of people populating this planet. It is a wonder for somehow we actually manage to coexist but let us not forget it is not always peacefully. Until today, divisiveness is still a major issue and has caused wars that only left humanity scarred and hurt for a long time. While we battle the struggles we made so ourselves, there are vulnerable human beings that require special needs and attention that are oblivious to all the conflicts we are experiencing.
People with special needs are special. PERIOD. They are not like us who can cope with whatever problems we are facing for their bodies aren’t equipped to do just that. They lack various senses that are crucial for living normally. Not everyone, though, was born with their disabilities. Some acquired theirs through an unfortunate accident or something like that. Persons with disabilities need our understanding and perhaps we can extend our love and patience for them, which they so badly need. It’s not that they wished to be invalid or something since they also suffer from the many limitations their handicap has brought about.
The perseverance of navy serviceman and para-athlete Jason Chee inspires me (Against the odds, he triumphs; Oct 1).
His story is a reminder that anyone can acquire a disability in an accident, an illness or in old age. However, no disability can take away the intrinsic worth of a person nor stop him from maximising his potential.
It is heartening that the National Council of Social Service organised the “See the True Me” public education campaign to encourage the public to see persons with disabilities for who they are instead of the disability they have.
However, one of the reasons given by the Government to justify keeping the cut-off time of abortion at 24 weeks is to allow those mothers whose unborn children are found to have “structural abnormalities” to “consider the implications and make an informed decision as to whether to keep or abort the child”.
We are all worthy of love no matter our disabilities. Do not just easily pass a judgment to the next person because you see him unable to rise on his own, walk on his own, eat on his own, or simply move and talk on his own. Be the bigger person and extend help in whatever way you can to make their lives more comfortable and convenient and extra brighter given that they have to endure a life more lonesome and less-fulfilling as ours.
Unfortunately, the world we live in is far from ideal, especially if, like me, you happen to have disabilities.
Unfortunately, we happen to live in a society that does not value such people. It discriminates against them, often with the connivance of politicians, and through the utilisation of gaps in the law, or through the failure to enforce what law exists. Try getting on a bus while using a wheelchair if you want an example of the latter.
With a few notable exceptions, for example those rare individuals with the potential to become elite Paralympic athletes, British society does not value differently-abled people, or the contributions that they make.
Britain is frequently in the habit of treating differently-abled people not as valued members of society, but instead as burdens or costs. No less an institution than the United Nations was moved to describe the situation facing them as “a catastrophe” in a recent report.
All over the world, people with disabilities still have problems in getting accepted by society. While many institutions are advocating on their behalf, they still face the harsh criticisms of those who have little tolerance towards them and choose to ignore other people’s sensitivities and difficulties because they do not want to inconvenience themselves in offering support. If you know better, go the extra mile and offer help when needed because that is what we all need, someone to take the first step and show the world how life is so much better if we all help and love one another whether we are lacking in some things or not.