The past week saw African countries celebrating the life of a child. SOS Children’s Villages in Swaziland also joined forces with all other partners working in the country in commemorating this day. I took time out to discover who a child is and this does not mean I don’t have children myself or don’t know them but I really wanted to understand a Child from a perspective of a child. Often we assume who children are and what they believe in, want and basically their inner thoughts. So I took my pen and paper and comfortably sat with them for heart to heart conversations. Believe this had been one of my greatest lessons and informative conversations. From now on I believe me and you will learn and know what and who a Child is.
I am the child, all the world waits for my coming. All the earth watches with interest to see what I shall become. Civilization hangs in the balance. For what I am, the world of tomorrow will be. I am the child, I have come into your world, about which I know nothing, Why I came I know not, How I came I know not, I am curious, I am interested. I am the child, you hold in your hand my destiny, you determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail. Give me those things that make for happiness. Train me, I beg you, That I may be a blessing to the world. Always know that as my parent or relative I look up to you. Carve and walk your path well so that I may follow. There shall come a time where I will carve my own path but let your early influence not be one that me make my own path one filled with crooked ways, grief, pain and sorrow. I am only but a sponge and sucking in all that you present to me, let these not be what will harm the world in future.
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, yes 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 by me. I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater, for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do. You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times. I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated. I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well-being, sharing my needs, or comments about the world about 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. Yes, I give you 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 would ever go on your own, working harder, seeking answers to your many questions with no answers. Yes, I am the child who cannot talk.
I am the child who cannot walk. The world seems to pass me by. Yes indeed you see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children, just like your carefree bubbly children at play, I wish and long to be like them too. There is much you take for granted. I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I’ve dropped my fork again, but do you know how much I want to quickly run and pick it up myself self. Do you how much I sit each day and wish just to kick the ball. But all I know is I am dependent on you in these ways. My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune, your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself. Sometimes people appear not to notice me or turn their eyes the other ways in pity or sympathy each time they see me, well I always notice them. I feel not so much envy as desire, 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 simple things. I am not burdened as you are with the strife’s and conflicts of 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 your arms around me mean, to give you love. I give you the gift of simplicity. I am the child who is mentally impaired. I laugh at simple things which are the ones which make you judge me and see my mental challenges, well to me that the beauty of life, that random smile and deep laugh and something you can’t see any joy or fun in. My world is often beautiful in its own way because I don’t get to see the real struggles but my world is one you would call a wonder and yet still I appreciate and value that I have life.
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 gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you. I teach you about how precious this 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.
Life might have put me in my present situation due to so many different circumstance and reasons, but I can still share the joy of being a child .Walk with me one more day, laugh with me, share your heart and smile, because I AM A CHILD!