Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday Blessings- Flex Your Muscles

This story and lesson from Joni Eareckson Tada' s book 'More Precious Than Silver ' burned a hole in my heart.

Use It!

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."-Galatians 6:10

Tyler Law, age 9, strode in front of the gurney that was to take him to surgery for his cancerous arm. "Can I walk?" he had asked the orderly who came to get him. "Sure, kid," the orderly had said, as he fell in line behind the brave patient and joined the parents. The three of them watched as Tyler marched ten paces in front of them. He was raising his bad arm in the air and pumping his biceps in and out.When they arrived at the prep room his dad asked, "So what was that arm pumping thing about?" "Oh," Tyler answered. "I just wanted to get as much use out of it as I could in case they have to cut it off."Tyler lived on the brink of losing his arm and took every opportunity to use it for that which it was intended - movement. Muscles tightening, tendons flexing, joints moving, neurons firing. Not a second of enjoying that arm was going to be lost while Tyler still had the chance.
(This is a web photo- not Tyler 's)

Tyler's words also reveal more than his bravery. They strike a chord of truth about our lives: Use it. Now.

I fear that, in our modern Christian world where we are quick to "avoid burnout," we have not used our lives as they were intended. Paul admonishes us to take advantage of the opportunities afforded us to do good. Our lives have so much potential for doing good. We take for granted our time, our talents, our energy, and assume that it must be saved for some great purpose later on. God's purpose for us is not later, it is now. The opportunities to use our lives for that which they are intended - loving God - are now.

Find those opportunities today. Pursue them to the end, bravely, knowing that it might be the last day afforded for such work.* * * * *

Lord, I'm taking inventory of my life. What do I have that I'm not using? Where can it be applied, today?

My blog brother Paresh is a quadriplegic. He calls me Didi- elder sister in Hindi. He is a very eloquent writer and expresses himself very well through his articles and poetry. I have copied his new post from his NEW BLOG Accessibility. He speaks for himself as well as millions of disabled people in India.

As a teenager some twenty years ago I too nursed an illusion that good education and gainful employment was the only escape from my misery. Being locked in a quadriplegic body was a bother but still there was a kind of foolhardiness that made me think that things will work out. In that age the harsh reality of the world takes time to dawn on you. So, when the elders in the family chided my brother (couple of years younger to me) you should be more responsible,remember you have an invalid brother to take care of, whenever he was his mischievous self. Those days political correctness wasn't in vogue. So it wasn't supposed to be hurtful. Still it made me wonder will I be forever dependent on someone all my life? There was a compound effect of this thought as I was lured to do physiotherapy and other treatments with the promise that it will make me run like others.So, it was only in my teenage that I became comfortable with my physical being and started thinking of doing something worthwhile in spite of my deformity.

After my tenth class I registered for Pre-Degree Course in the Commerce stream as a Private (meaning just study sitting at home and going to college only to write exams) student It wasn't easy but it was the only thing I could do at that time, and with the help my siblings and friends (who shared their notes and those who became my scribes for writing exams) I passed and registered for Degree in same manner.Now, it is nearly a decade and half that I passed out Degree and have been employed in a MNC (basically working with a computer doing data entry and typing out short letters), and a freelance writer (journalist) for the last ten years or so.

My ambition to be a writer had grown due to the fact that it felt like the easiest the job to opt for a person like me (you just needed a typewriter and a bundle of A4 size papers). So, along with formal education I started equiping myself with requisite skills; learning to read with a purpose and writing Letters to Editors, just to prove to myself and others that I had it in me (I could even buy more publications with that).I realised as I moved forward in life that a job could be the ultimate goal for a so-called normal person and mark of achievement so to speak, but, for a person with disability it presents new barriers and challenges to surmount not just physical but even attitudinal.

You have to be socially equiped to deal with new people (my voice still chokes if I have to talk to new person or even my seniors, so an interpreter is always has to be near), maybe a result of growing up in a protected environment of home. Even in the matter of education I maybe one of lucky few who could reach to the level of graduation. And, what about accessible public transport? Whatever I earn virtually goes into reaching my place of work.So, we have to have an holistic vision while lobbying for the three percent reservation even in the private sector in accordance with the People with disabilities Act.

Iwrote this piece on employment for disabled people for my friend Anita Iyer, who runs a NGO EKansh working in the disbility sector in Pune. My only brief was a 500 words straight from the heart piece about my expiriences as an employed disabled.

9 Fertilize my soul:

Donetta said...

This fellow has a wisdom gained only through the journey.
I hope your having a fabulous day.
Loving you

Zimbabwe said...

For me it's unfair, that disabled people can't work on the level of their possibilities. I understand, that they have more difficulties, but if health people and politicians would have more good will, they did with it something. I know for example young people with the Down Syndrome in my city, who paint glass.
I'm so sorry because of Your voice. It must be very difficult.
You are right, we should use our chances to make good. I respect disabled people - I could learn from them very much.

Paresh Palicha said...

Thanks Didi, proud to be mentioned here. God bless.

Buttercup said...

Great article. I have been blessed to work with many people with significant disabilities. We all learn a lot from every one who is placed in our paths. Will be stopping by Paresh' blog.

Grayquill said...

A good reminder to be thankful and not complain.
Good post.

Shelley said...

I love Joni...she is such a blessings to so many lives....blessings on your week Amrita.

Amrita said...

Dear Buttercup, gQ and Sheeley, I really appreciate your visit and responses.

Dear Buttercup, I am so sorry I am unable to open your page since the few few days. I try so hard but it doesn 't move below the header.

Arts&Disability said...

Hi Amrita & Paresh,
We are now following your blog also Paresh! For this is exactly what we are most interested in developing .... the awareness of Disability... our blog is Arts & Disability
In sharing ... this is how innovation & even some simple things can help us all in our shared world of Disability.

Believe it or not, when my husband became disabled in the 1980's .. there was NO ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) My husband had me & our daughter to SHOUT OUT the inequities.... but, I know how many disabled (& caregivers) give up or become disenfranchised.

Thank you for continuing to share... it is even in the simple idea of using a double decker inflatable air mattress that I was finally able to quickly raise my husband up to then sit in his wheelchair! Praise the Lord for Innovation!
Love His Sonshine

Amrita said...

Dear friends thank you for your encouragment.
Dear Paresh, its a privellege to have a brothe r like you.

Dear Merry Lynn we praise the Lord for wha t you are doing among disabled people.