Saturday, October 1, 2011

Seeing the Handicapped Differently

Writing in the Catholic Times, a columnist remembers the time 15 years earlier when he worked in a facility for the handicapped. A woman in her early thirties  came with a rather large bag to the  home.

She lived in an apartment  across from the home for the handicapped and met many of the  handicapped and felt pain and sorrow for them. When she saw one of the children she thought of her own child who could have been one of them and gave thanks. Then one  day the thought changed to  thinking that her child was in fact one of the handicapped; it was a new way of seeing the handicapped. That day, her child's first birthday she, prepared rice cakes for the children at the home. The writer was moved by the young woman remembering those at the home.

The  columnist mentions that when a facility for the handicapped comes into an area, many are opposed. The price of land goes down, and they feel that it will not be helpful in the education of the children, among other reasons for being against the home.

A  kindergarten student returning from  the market with her mother saw a beautiful older girl in a wheelchair. Seeing someone in a wheelchair for the first time, she asked her mother, "Why is she  like that?"  Without  hesitating the mother replied, "If you do not  obey, that will also happen to you." What a horrible way to respond to the child's question. There was a time when the problems one had in this life were seen as the result of sins of a past life.

The writer was much moved by the gesture of the young woman who came
with her rice cakes to the home. Her child is now 15 years old and he 
prays that the child is growing into a healthy maturity.

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