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Regarding Physical Handicaps or Disorders…

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If you happen to have a physical handicap, ailment, or disorder, one does not think that it would be prudent to take it out on, or blame, some “higher power.” There is a sacredness that exists, but one does not feel that it interferes much with the natural, organic occurrence of things. If it did, there would be no end to the multitude of illnesses and physical problems that needed fixing and if it fixed everything, for example, we would be living in a cartoon-like, plastic-plant-like world where things were disgustingly artificial.

My wonderful wife, before she passed, had all kinds of physical problems (and handicaps). I, more than once, advised her not to take it out on that higher order and vast intelligence. By the way, things happened in the past, such as adult neighbors getting in front of my wife with their car as she was walking down our rural road for exercise, and laughingly mocking the way she walked, stopping their car in front of her to block her walking. This kind of thing is unbelievable, especially from adults. (By the way — and this is not mere politics — i was not at all appreciative of the way Trump, in the past, openly mocked and disparagingly imitated that poor man who was handicapped.) There are some people out there with no hearts. It is very sad.

I was a teacher for students with multiple handicaps, and i occasionally would talk to them about their situation. Some were as intelligent as you or i but, for example, were quadreplegic, not being able to move their arms or legs with coordination and not being able to feed themselves. Yet we got them to laugh often and feel good about themselves. Let me tell you, when anyone of us humans (including animals) suffers… the whole world suffers in a way and (in a way) shares in that suffering. We can help each other and all do better; all of us are like the fingers of one hand, and although the fingers seem separate, in reality they are not separate.

If you happen to have handicaps, keep your head held high; do not feel inferior; please do not blame that sacredness. Let’s face it, in a big way all of us humans have some kind of handicap(s). (Many of my students, while being severely handicapped, smiled more often and were kinder and far more caring than a lot of the ordinary, so-called normal businessmen that i met in the outside world.)

Katy did it again, but i didn’t. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: tom8pie.com (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

39 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. If humans would exercise compassion (perhaps the very foundation of morality) and pursue the Middle Way, there’d be a whole lot less suffering in the world. Is that too much to ask of each other? In so many cases, it seems it is (especially in a world dominated by politicians, ideologues, religionists, and moneybags), and that’s what makes the shabby “reality show” we’ve produced for ourselves so incredibly disheartening.

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    • Well, to me, pstachowski, we do not require ideals or patterns (that inevitably tend to separate us) to live by, including the Buddhistic Middle Way, or whatever. But, yes, we must go beyond the politicians, ideologues, religionists, and moneybags… and see things clearly for ourselves. πŸ™‚

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  2. Very true words. To live with a handicap is to be blessed with the opportunity to discover more. It’s a challenge to get around people who think they know but every struggle is trust given to our person by the “higher power”. This applies to everyone because, yes, we all have handicaps.

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  3. I have a traumatic brain injury from a wall falling on me. I never blamed any God for what happened. Just figured it was the randomness of the Universe. Living with randomness has been mentally healthy for me.

    I never thought in terms of sacredness though. I will ponder than since you make a lot of sense with it.

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  4. Your words resonate deeply within me. I am so sorry for the way people blocked your wife as she was walking. Some people are heartless, truly heartless. That pains me, though I have seen it as well and it always makes me feel so angry. For the most part though people are kind and wonderfully compassionate. It has been my experience that people who suffer deeply from physical ailments are usually so deeply wise and kindness is the emblem of most, if not all, those we labeled “handicapped” in the past. I’ve been struck by the deep love they have for others and the way they do not react with vengeance or “pay back” the way some do.

    I am sorry for your loss, Tom. I have come very near to losing my spouse a few times now and the pain was indescribable as I considered life without him. Sending loving sympathy and hugs.

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    • Thanks, Carol, for sharing your perception of the innate goodness of many with severe handicaps… how kindness is the emblem of most. I know, you’ve shared this kind of thing (about those who happen to be very handicapped) before. πŸ™‚

      Yes, it’s been very tough with Marla being gone. You can’t imagine.

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      • You are in my thoughts and prayers. I send positive energy to you for peace and comfort and you travel this very difficult road. Life can be so tough. No, I can only stretch my imagination so far. I remember staring down into the abyss a few times with hubby, times when doctors were skeptical of his survival following surgery. That was hard enough. Sending lots of loving hugs, Tom, as well as my sincere sympathies.

      • My heart goes out to you, Tom. It’s got to be so hard! Sending many hugs. Grief is such a difficult journey. I have lost loved ones, who among us has not? Yet, I believe the loss of a spouse is hardest of all.

  5. Tom, I truly appreciate your words of inspiration. Some people are downright bullies and have no compassion whatsoever. Those are the types of folks you want to haul off and sucker punch them until you knock some sense into their hardened hearts. Karma has a way of handling them though. 😱

    I have dealt with family and acquaintances who have or have had special needs. My mother worked for a facility when I was growing up, which at that time was called the center for mental retardation. I know we don’t use that reference anymore, but I had a first cousin who was admitted to this center. We learned very early about compassion and empathy for people who were different from us, physically or mentally. If my mother ever thought that any one of us did something to mock someone with some type of special need, I dare not say what she would have done to us.

    Thank you for writing about this heartfelt subject my friend. It saddens me that your wife endured this type of bulliness and from grown ass adults at that. But as they used to say where I grew up, “Payback is a bitch!” Stay well Tom. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸΌπŸ€—

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    • Thank you, Kym. πŸ™‚ Yes, it is frightening how some people are heartless bullies. Believe it or not, more of my neighbors had done similar cruel things to Marla in the past. It is unbelievable the way some people behave (or, rather, misbehave)!

      It is great that you learned, early on, about compassion and empathy for those of us who are different. When my students were younger, we taught them in the local elementary school. It was great for the so-called normal kids to occasionally be around (and interact) with those who had handicaps! There was a lot of love and mutual respect there.

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      • Amen Tom. So much to learn from each other, no matter who you are, what you look like, how much money you have, or where you come from. You have a generous and kind heart my friend. It sounds like Marla’s heart was just as big and compassionate. I appreciate and enjoyed you sharing such a personal and emotional story with us.

        A lot of people in some prominent places and positions need to learn such a very valuable and humbling lesson! β€πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’– We appreciate you my friend. 😊

      • I appreciate that Tom and I appreciate you my friend. πŸ€— Thanks for making us examine ourselves, our conduct, and our conversation with your true life and heartwarming stories. We will continue to remain the compassionate and loving people that we are. We can’t change others but hopefully by remaining true to ourselves, they will eventually take notice and change too. πŸ’–πŸ™πŸΌβ€

  6. I agree so much Tom, and I’m so sorry about what happened to your wife. I’m finding out more and more that humans can be so terribly unkind . . . it’s hard to cope with.

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  7. “…when anyone of us humans (including animals) suffers… the whole world suffers in a way and (in a way) shares in that suffering.” Such an important point Tom… and people who mock those with disabilities like people did with your wife I feel fury (my directional dyslexia was totally ignored as was PTSD) do diminish us… but also diminish those who are doing the mocking even if they don’t know it. No non-human animal would behave this way which is why so many of us turn to animals for comfort and then enter a magic door into nature’s wonders if they are fortunate as I was.

    As a former professor I worked with a number of “challenged” students and found them to be more sensitive than others. Thanks for this post!

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    • Thank you, Sara. πŸ™‚ You are right, animals do not do this “cruelty” kind of thing.
      Yes, many of the challenged students tend to be more sensitive and understanding. My wife, Marla, was always so very compassionate, angelic, and caring. Perhaps suffering or pain helps the eyes and heart to open up more for all others.

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      • Tom, I believe pain and suffering do open us in ways that are quite mysterious – not of course, all – some simply become mean and bitter. Your wife Maria sounds like she was a remarkable woman. You must miss her terribly. I am so sorry.

  8. Compassion is something so many people lack … it’s not something you can blame on their upbringing, because even being the offspring of the most boorish of parents who care not for anything but themselves, one can still have empathy and compassion for those less fortunate than themselves health-wise. I grew up with my mom with her many orthopedic problems, 41 surgeries as a result of dashing between two parked cars at age 11. I’ve always cherished my good health and know what it means to see a person in constant pain, who walks with a limp, to see people who stare or hurry on their way and nearly cause a trip and fall … caring only for themselves. You had compassion in your job and at your home. People are not so open-minded and they are cruel … you wonder sometimes why nature is so appealing? P.S. I’ve never met a Katydid up close. What beautiful eyes and dewy complexion she has. πŸ™‚

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    • You are so right, Linda… it’s not something that people can blame on their upbringing. My father was very cold and cruel, but i sure did not follow in his footsteps.
      My goodness, 41 surgeries! That is really something! Yes, a lot of people just take their good health for granted. What gets me is how they do not bother to get the Covid vaccines and how they do not bother to wear masks to help protect the public. Their indifference is largely a lack of compassion and care for others’ wellbeing; it’s sad and heartless, really. They are totally conditioned yet they whine about not having the freedom to do what they want. (They really never had freedom in the first place.)
      Yes, oftentimes animals are more socially caring and wise. πŸ™‚

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      • My father was the same way Tom, as was my grandfather. I always said I had my mother’s genes for her temperament, but my father’s looks. My mother had 42 surgeries – one was me, but 41 orthopedic surgeries was a lot for anyone.
        They say the pandemic will eventually end, but it could have been fizzling out by now had everyone gotten vaccinated. Instead it will drag on and on, killing more people, livelihoods and the economy. You are 100% correct about animals. No comparison to people sadly.

  9. I can’t believe how horrible those people were to your wife! I was taught compassion and empathy and taught my kids too. It’s something I feel strongly about.

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