Categories
Uncategorized

Home

<blockquote>For it's in dying that we are born… – <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francis">Prayer of St. Francis</a></blockquote>
I spent the afternoon visiting the <a href="http://www.cheshirehome.org.sg/">Singapore Cheshire Home</a>, a non-profit that cares for the disabled.
It never fails. Everytime I visit the less fortunate, whether it is someone who is hospitalised, or a halfway-house for ex-junkies, I come out with more than I brought in. And so far it has been without fail, that before going to one of these places I'd muse over what I could do to cheer them up or make them feel better. And everytime I'm ashamed to find myself the one receiving cheer, despite having all my limbs and not facing the inevitable consequence of terminal illness.
The disabled residents of the Singapore Cheshire Home are an extremely happy bunch. Their smiles were so authentic and effusive that there was no need for me to put on a false smile. They would wave their hands – some of them stumps – in acknowledgment of our presence. One of them was surfing Youtube with her one normal arm while behind her sat a man clicking on links in Yahoo using a stick attached to his forehead.
They did not ask for our sympathy, nor did they need it. It became clear to me that it was us able-bodied people who needed sympathy, for we were blind. Blind to the amazing power these people possessed despite not having bodies that conformed to our standards of physical normalcy. We, able-bodied ones are blind for not creating adaptive environments to harness the ingenuity – the sheer force of life – in these unique individuals. It is our blindness that has created unnecessary obstacles in the way of them having a fulfilling life. We have stopped them from enriching ours simply because they are unlike us, and we do not take well to the idea of physical diversity.
I would like to enable my children to see beyond the prejudices of my generation. I've spoken to Joanne, the person in charge of volunteers, if we could help out as a family. Enough complaining that Singapore doesn't have enough for us to do. There's plenty for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *