“Disability gifts us certain abilities that are not taught in colleges or universities, no matter how highly educated we are. We have an uncanny ability of positive thinking, of comparing our advantages with people who have gone through many more difficulties and handicaps, thus letting the concentration of psychiatrists and counselors to be on able-bodied people.”
ABILITY IN DISABILITY
“You beg to be treated as a normal person,
At the same time think that you are God’s special creation that deserves
Extra love and protection
Sometimes you feel lonely,
Yet you discover the power of loneliness…..
You want to feel responsible and accountable,
So you feel annoyed when people relieve you of your responsibilities
Yet relaxed that you are free and mentally independent…….”
These lines are about ‘physical disability’, a condition that can haunt and consume the lives of people. But I always feel that disability gifts us certain abilities that are not taught in colleges or universities, no matter how highly educated we are.
When the world is learning how to confine itself to four walls, the disabled feel superior because they are masters in the art of living within confines.
When women are trying desperately to fight their inner conflicts and turmoil’s, a disabled woman feels calm and serene, as it is a rough path that has been traveled by her many years earlier.
When others fear to take bold decisions due to a fear of failure, we know that we have traversed this path also a long time ago.
We are the ones who have figured out how to adapt a ‘let us do it’ attitude.
We have an uncanny ability of positive thinking, of comparing our advantages with people who have gone through many more difficulties and handicaps, thus letting the concentration of psychiatrists and counselors to be on able-bodied people.
Our physical condition also releases us from the societal obligations of marriage and childbearing, provided we learn how to enjoy the freedom and power of our single status.
Disability lets us dream of anything and everything under the sun without any limitations. Our dreams can never be de-glamorized, as our visits to reality are rare.
Sometimes we want to feel ‘feminine’, be recognized and loved as a woman. Paradoxically our handicap makes us genderless, thus commanding people’s respect for not how we look, but for what we are. <b>It gives us the status of a human being, a person whose mental personality has been assessed and is respected..
The most ironical thing however is that, though bodily imperfect ourselves, we never forgive or forbear imperfections of character and behavior in others. This quality I believe enhances the quality of our relationships, rather than the quantity.
Disability, gives us the will power to succeed in life – a will power that can’t be shattered by a thousand earthquakes. The fierce desire to prove ourselves is a need with us rather than a goal. It is actually a life’s mission for us.
When people have misconceptions about identifying beauty with physical attributes, we set an example. We are living proof of the fact that beauty is nothing but character and inner traits, which are invisible in able-bodied people and highly visible in disabled persons.
Some may disagree that it is an advantage to be a disadvantaged, but I
believe that physical disability is nothing when you have achieved full
control of your mind, which in turn controls your ‘imperfect’ body.
So whenever you feel discouraged while doing an uphill task that doesn’t require physical activity, ask yourself only one question “IS DISABILITY REALLY LIMITING MY ABILITY TO DO THE THINGS I WANT MOST?”; If the answer is a big "e;NO"e; it means you have won over your ill feelings towards disability and chosen to respond in a positive manner.
When the world is heading towards optimum use of brainpower and to reap its manifold advantages, I strongly believe that, with proper training and exposure to real-time situations, we shall be the leaders of tomorrow, in management and other allied fields. One of the most essential characteristics of management is the art of ‘ getting things done by others’. We, the disabled are already masters in this art.
Where men like ‘Stephen Hawkins’ are worshipped,
Where parents don’t feel shattered if they have a disabled child,
Where brainpower is considered ultimate,
Where handicapped are not neglected whatever may be the reason,
Where barrier-free environments exist (physically as well as emotionally,
Where your opinion counts,
Where you don’t have to live in emotional confines….
(Originally published in http://www.indianwomenonline.com/. Author Sai Padma, a young woman of current generation, physically disabled, has M.Com., B.L. degrees and working on her master’s in Accounting. Using her computer skills she is reaching out to make a difference in the fields of education and healthcare. You may email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)