NIgel and Kye Thompson photographed at the Unipet gas station at Cocorite. Photo by Mark Lyndersay.
Many things feel difficult because we sometimes make it difficult. The path to enlightenment is scattered with situations that will challenge us at our core because the fundamental and intrinsic value of the experience lies inward.
The child can be a reflection of our turmoil or the child can be a reflection of our gratitude and reverence toward their presence. Whether disabled or typical, they arrive with lessons for us that are also bigger than us and they can help to build character.
There is no guide for parenting a child with a disability and by nature, humans fear what seems unexplainable and uncontrollable. We are proud, selfish and greedy at times and these things lay at the root of our flawed prejudice and turmoil.
Accepting and respecting life means that we don’t get to question the value or the purpose of the very “life” that we seek to preserve. Instead, we need to respect, protect and honour life when it presents itself in the form that the God source determined the spirit needed to arrive in to fulfil its purpose, because there is purpose and value in the child’s life, no matter what.
Each child’s life, disabled or not, deserves to be celebrated upon arrival because it is neither an animal nor plant that arrived, but a human life, a human life. Ponder the word human and if we celebrate each child like this we will purposely create environments that make their journey and those who love them, a lot easier.
The problem of the environment not being structured to meet the needs of everyone equally, manifests outward because of the problems that exist within us. Perspective is everything.
Until we begin to refocus our minds and repurpose our hearts we will continue to live in a world where children with disabilities are seen as burdens and not celebrants.