What really is disability? There are many phrases defining this phrase, some of them are handicapped, differently abled, ‘special’ – especially in the case of children and many more such terms. The terms are not really very important. Why is important is how easy the world, a nation, a city or even a home, makes it possible for a person with an issue to lead a complete life the way they want to lead it.
When I got diagnosed with MS, I was extremely disturbed that I too may be in this group. This is because we give only lip service to the people with challenges and do not really understand them. Now, after getting to know their world better, I came across several people who have indeed shown the rest of the world how beautiful life is. I have understood what gratitude truly is, when people with all kinds of challenges are thankful that they are able to breathe and are all the time, leading a complete life, despite, sometimes because of the challenge.
In many parts of the world, including India, we have ATM machines on top a building with no lift, trains and buses who make it extremely complicated for anyone, let alone people with a challenge to commute comfortably, a person who cannot see not even be able to read any book or newspaper and a person who is deaf not be able to communicate with anyone using even words. Most of all, these people being shunted into the corner as it is too uncomfortable for others to see them around.
Apart from these physical challenges, there is usually a litany of ‘advice’ given to them on the temples to visit, mosques to go to and churches to pray in. One good part of this dialogue is that at least in this area, people do seem to recognize that all religions are indeed one.
In a civilized world that I hope will arrive soon, the people who overcome challenges are true heroes or heroines.
As for me, I discovered a path to wellness through acupuncture, only after I had understood this lesson of life completely.
In a sense, I became better only after I understood that not being able to walk properly is not a life sentence and there are many things I shall still be able to do.
I have definitely progressed spiritually because of the entire experience and request everyone to also view all challenges as just that, ‘a challenge’, not a life sentence or a death sentence.