A friend tagged me on Facebook with this poem. At first I didn’t want to bother reading it because so many of these types of things are written with a bitter attitude and an attitude of “the world owes me”.
But I was pleasantly surprised at the grace and kindness of this poem. I think you will enjoy it!
I AM THE DISABLED CHILD
I AM THE CHILD WHO CANNOT TALK. You often pity me. I see it in your eyes. You wonder how much I am aware of…I see that as well. I am aware of much…whether you are happy or sad or fearful, patient or impatient, full of love and desire, or if you are just doing your duty to me. I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater- for I cannot express myself nor my needs as you do. You cannot conceive my isolation- so complete it is at times. I do not gift you with clever conversation or cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated. I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well-being, share my needs, or comments about the world around me. I do not give you rewards as defined by the WORLD’S standards…great strides in development that you can credit yourself. I do not give you understanding as you know it.
What I give you is so much more valuable… I give you instead opportunities: Opportunities to discover the depth of your character- not mine; the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities; the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible. I drive you further than you will ever go on your own, working harder, seeking answers to your many questions- creating questions with no answers. I AM THE CHILD WHO CANNOT TALK.
I AM THE CHILD WHO CANNOT WALK. The world sometimes seems to pass me by. You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair- to run and play like other children. There is much you take for granted. I want the toys on the top shelf. I need to go to the bathroom…oh…I’ve dropped my spoon again! I am dependent on you in these ways. MY gift to you is to make you aware of your great fortune: your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself. Sometimes people appear not to notice me- I always notice them. I feel not so much envy as desire; to stand upright, to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent. I give you awareness. I AM THE CHILD WHO CANNOT WALK.
I AM THE CHILD WHO IS MENTALLY IMPAIRED. I don’t learn easily if you judge me by the WORLD’S measuring stick. What I do know is infinite joy in the simple things. I am not burdened as you are with the strifes and conflicts or a more complicated life. MY gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child: to teach you how much it means to have your arms around me- to give you love. I give you the gift of simplicity. I AM THE CHILD WHO IS MENTALLY IMPAIRED.
I AM THE DISABLED CHILD. I am your teacher. If you allow me- I will teach you what is really important in life. I will give you and teach you unconditional love. I give you my innocent trust- my dependency upon you. I teach you respect for others and their uniqueness. I teach you about the sanctity of life. I teach you about how very precious life is and about not taking things for granted. I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams. I teach you giving. Most of all, I teach you Hope and Faith.
I AM THE DISABLED CHILD – ENABLE ME
~ author Unknown ~
Please share this with others!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!