Let our voices be heard: In commemoration of International Day for the physically challenged


Today is the 3rd of December, it is the International Day for the Physically and Mentally Challenged people worldwide.  This people deserve our love and attention they need us to believe in them so that they can  achieve positive things, they need us to make the world a better place for them, they need us to join our voices with theirs to make their voices heard. Remember what Jesus said about the good Samaritan, “ whoever, you  have the ability to render assistance, unto, such a person is your neighbour, do not fail to help such.” Happy World Disabilities day. In celebration of our neighbours with disabilities, i have written this to lend to the call to reduce discrimination against them, and for their voices to be heard also

(1.)

I have been struck with  Alzhemier’s disease for  about two years now, I am here, abandoned and alone. I am so far gone that I cannot even remember my own name, not to talk of anyone else’s, I have no family no friends, except this reluctant young lady foisted on me by family members who consider  me a liability, people who are waiting for me to die so that they can be rid of the embarrasment I’m causing them, once and for all.

Then you came. Everyday you would without fail, visit my house  and sit with me by my favourite window to read me a book, despite the fact that  you knew that I cannot even remember whatever you read to me. You do not mind the fact that I dont even know who you are, you do not care when your friends continually jeer you for hanging out with a “drooling idiot” who cannot remember her own name not to talk of yours.  Still come rain, come shine, you never stopped caring, I am here because you cared.

 (2.)

 I lost My sight a few months ago,  after that life became very hopeless. I have lived in virtual darkness ever since, cursing the world for putting me in this condition, I have  relied on a guide to take me around ever since and that made me even more depressed. I sat in my house all day calling on death to come and take me away from this darkness. Then you came, you did not treat me like others did, like a hopeless dying man. Everyday you would come to my house with something for my other senses, a bouquet of flowers for me to smell, a sweet smelling dish for me to taste, my favourite records for me to hear, and in particular, the wonderful and inspiring quotes you read to me, they have brightened my otherwise dull life and right now, i no longer wait for death to come and take me away, because of you i have come to be able to live with the darkness, even though i  still resent it. Moreso the darkness  has been brightened by the light you have brought into my life.  I want to thank you because everything you have done for me is at your own expense, you know i can never repay you, because i dont even know what you look like. But thanks to you, my life has changed. I am here because you cared.

 (3.)

I lost my left hand up to the elbow in an Okada accident a few years ago.  It caused me to  be laid off at my workplace. All my friends, and even the boss I had dilligently served for ten years abandoned me. Life became very hard  for me, my wife and our three children. Because  until my accident i was the breadwinner of the family, but since i could no longer work, it became increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Worse still nobody wanted to employ a disabled man, therefore finding employment was downright  impossible. Depression set in and i started to contemplate suicide. You offered me a job in your office, inspite of my condition. You vociferously defended me despite the fact that your company’s board of directors expressed doubts about my productivity, you ignored the advice of employers like you, who advised you to lay me off, trying to convince you about how useless a one handed man would be to the company. Even when your own position was threatened, you stood by me.

Thanks to you, I can look to the future with pride, I no longer feel like a faliure. I can now feed my family and be a proper father to my children, I can watch them grow up to achieve their own dreams, because you gave me a chance of a new start. I am here because you cared.

The Bible says in Matthew  24: 37-49

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink?And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.

Susan Boyle says

“I was slightly brain damaged at birth, and I want people like me to see that they shouldn’t let a disability get in the way. I want to raise awareness – I want to turn my disability into ability.”

Helen Keller  says

“I have often been asked, Do not people bore you? I do not understand quite what that means. I suppose the calls of the stupid and curious, especially of newspaper reporters, are always inopportune. I also dislike people who try to talk down to my understanding. They are like people who when walking with you try to shorten their steps to suit yours; the hypocrisy in both cases is equally exasperating.” –

 

Steve Guttenberg says this

If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.

 

Robert M. Hensel adds

Know me for my abilities, not my disability.

I don’t have a dis-ability, I have a different-ability.

My disability has opened my eye’s to see my true abilities.

When everyone else says you can’t, determination says,”YES YOU CAN.”

I have a Disability yes thats true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path

William Arthur Ward

A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.” –

                                     (4.)

I am  somebody out there,  in need of love and not abandonment, in need of understanding and not discrimination. Even though I might not have every ability that other people have, but i want to be seen as a normal human being and not as a dead person walking. I can do more than be left to beg in the streets, I can do more than having to live with the stigma of my disability for the rest of my life. I want a chance to show  that  I can also contribute to the process of nation building. I need  to make my voice heard. For so long I have been stigmatized, abused and cheated enough.  Is it not enough that i have had to live with my blindness, my amputations, my deafness and dumbness, my paralysis? Must i be be sent to  an early grave by an intolerant people? I deserve to be heard, I deserve to be listened to

 

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