While wondering how best to put together this week’s article, which is the last for the year, I looked back at the one I wrote last year to see if I got anything on my wish list for 2012 and admit that I got very little, if any.
At the heart and root of any success is the attitude in the hearts of not only those who set out for something to be successful, but its intended audience. However, there are instances where law enforcement is necessary for example in cases like designated areas for disabled parking, because if the intended audience continue to show no regard for the parking area, their non-acceptance of the law should be met with consequences such as a hefty fine and a towed vehicle.
I do however live in hope that we as a people would change how we view the disabled and see them as equal as opposed to “broken” or something that needs fixing. I’ve learnt that we really are a nation of talkers and even when it comes to implementation we’re lost.
I’m not sure if it’s that we’re truly lost and unsure of what our next move should be, or lost as in we just don’t care – as if talking about it is enough. Well it isn’t and we need to get real and make sure that the lifestyle of inclusion is one that is adopted and accepted.
So what do I really want for this year apart from what I mentioned above and what I wished for last year? Really only two additional things:
1. “Putting a stop to Photo-Ops”:
This is a real pet peeve of mine. We have come to a place in this country where everyone just wants to be seen handing over a cheque, handing over products or just shaking hands with those in our disabled community so that others would applaud our sterling contribution and so that we would be known as an individual or group who has done what nobody else would. However, after the cameras have stopped clicking and the reporters have left the premises everyone goes back to “as you were”. I think that’s the epitome of heartlessness and it disgusts me. Forget about being real and giving help where it’s due — it’s just about the pat on the back.
In some cases promises are made for all and sundry to hear but they never materialize and while the “givers” have already made their public statement and received accolades, the disabled are left waiting and wondering when help would actually come.
2.Help for parents of disabled children:
Taking care of a child with special needs is an expensive undertaking. Whether the child receives private tuition or not, when it comes to transportation, medical and educational needs it usually leaves parents broke.
The amount of things needed for children to live a normal life in many cases are astronomical for parents to handle, and the irony of the scenario is that at the end of the day, sometimes the issues which the child has is either so severe that they require a caregiver or there is not enough space in one of the schools; meaning that the parent(s) have to give up their job as there is no one available to take care of the child.
There is also the emotional needs of parents. All of this can be taxing on them as they rarely get a break, not to mention if there are other children in the household. No one can truly understand the load that some of these parents bear until they walk in their shoes, but they need help and they’re crying out.
In this coming year I hope we would all lend a hand wherever we can and show more love to our fellow man. This past year has been a challenging one for me personally and also for us as a nation and like most I look forward to bigger and better things.
However, while we all have our personal ambitions and aspirations, let’s not forget that people are more important than any goal we could aspire to reach and with that in mind, priorities should be rearranged if need be. May we all learn that we are nothing without each other and strive in the coming year to not only preach love, inclusion, care and compassion; but to mean it by showing it!