I have a very good friend, Larry, who is highly accomplished. He is a chartered accountant, has an MBA and at one point was planning on doing a PHD. Education wise and financially, Larry is more than accomplished. Religion wise, he is accomplished as he lives his faith daily.
However, my friend is disabled in both legs. He uses crutches or wheelchair depending on the situation. He had been vaccinated against polio, yet was still afflicted. I started this paragraph with the word ‘however’ because at times all that he is and has achieved in his life is negated by the fact that he is disabled.
For instance, one day Larry was taking a walk around his neighborhood on his wheelchair as he regularly did when he met a group of drunk boys who immediately wanted to beat him. The reason? “How can a disabled person be moving around? You are supposed to be at home like all other disabled people!” The least drunk boy grabbed the wheelchair and ran off with Larry to protect him. The merciful boy said that Larry had already been ‘punished’ by God so beating him would not be fair. I know the boy was wrong and ignorant in saying that Larry had been ‘punished’, but I think he just did not know any better. Important is the fact that he saved Larry.
It breaks my heart when I see disabled people being mistreated just because they are different. Some people tend to overlook the fact that life deals different people with different situations. Why can we not accept others as they are? They did not choose to be different.
Larry is a strong guy and looks more on his positive experiences than the negative ones. He, and others like him, just want to be treated like everyone else.