Today, I had an epiphany…
Today, I went out to buy something, and as the many vendors called out to me trying to catch my attention, I noticed that one of them was a man with a “hunch back” and my first instinct was to avoid him, a voice in my head said “not him, anybody but him”, this was immediately followed by an immense feeling of shame. I finally bought what I needed from him but all the way home I berated myself, I could not believe that I had reacted in that way to someone with a disability and one who was working to make a living legitimately. A disability that was the result of a medical condition, tuberculosis of the spine.
I felt so ashamed.
Now for people that know me, you may know that I pride myself as a “compassionate, caring, look out for others do-gooder”. So how could my first reaction be not to do business with a man because of a disability? I, who have had various arguments about how I think it’s wrong that some people decide to turn begging for alms into a career just because of a small disability, I have always been of the opinion that if these people try to make a living doing some work, customers would patronize them if only to encourage them.
Were all my proclamations and passionate talks no more than the ranting of a self-righteous person?
Was I no different afterall?
Was I no different from the people who looked down on the disabled?
Was I no different from people of a certain part of Benue state who believe that a child who exhibited symptoms that sounded suspiciously like epilepsy to me, is a snake and therefore should be drowned in the river?
Was I no different from tribes across the world that believed that girl children are less than children?
Was I no different from the very people I accuse of insensitivity and refer to as inhumane?
This was indeed a terribly sad realization but more than that, it was a wake up call…
Just like me, I realize we are all passionate about a lot of things, we talk, we talk passionately, we proudly support causes on our twitter, Facebook, BBM and other profiles. We support causes theoretically.
However, lets all try something for a while, lets stop talking about it and actually do something.
Lets push past the many excuses that never run dry.
Let’s stop talking, Let’s do.
©Adeola Matemilola 2012
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