Perhaps attitudes haven’t changed.
Many decades ago, my parents were told by an Anglican priest that they had probably been ‘chosen by God’ to be the special people to have a disabled child; a child to be used (by God, presumably) to help others show their kindness and charity.
That child is no longer with us, but he was my brother for 63 years.
Sure, it was sometimes hard (bloody hard!) for us to cope with a family member with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities. But our family was resilient. Our family was full of love and understanding —not only for my brother, but for anyone and everyone.
Were we blessed? Were we not blessed?
Who knows what ‘blessed’ means?
When I was involved as a teacher in ‘Special Ed’ for many years, I spent my days with children of many differing abilities —and their parents and families.
Was I blessed then - or not blessed?
Although I do not truly understand the meaning of ‘blessed’, I was appalled by the words of our Prime Minister, who claimed to ‘be blessed’ to not have a disabled child.
Well, Mr Prime Minister, I know who seems more ‘blessed’ to me — and that is the crowd of people who have had the joys and heartaches of being involved in the lives of people who may be different from the ones you admire.
I, and those who have had the privilege to be close to such a variety of ‘disabled’ people, and the disabled people themselves, are the ones who have empathy, who have resilience, who have understanding and a real appreciation of what it’s like to be truly alive and aware.
You’d be a better man, Mr Prime Minister, if you ever emerged from your pristine, self-worshipping space.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.