Although unwanted, disability is nature’s way of responding to certain challenging situations. It is part and parcel of life.

The earlier we learn to live with this reality the better for us. I once met a woman who refused to accept the fact that her child was deaf and dumb. Because she “knows the Lord she serves”, she was confident that his son Uzochukwu will eventually talk and hear.

Instesd of sending Uzochukwu to a special school she sent him to a normal school where he eventually learnt nothing. In her mind sending her son to a special school for the physically challenged or what I call the differently abled, would mean succumbing to the spirit of deaf and dumb. There was no Church, prayer house or crusade that Uzochukwu was not taken to. Today Uzochukwu is 35 and still can neither speak nor hear.

He has no work either. His counterparts in other parts of the world were trained in special schools. Many of them are today professionals in different fields of endeavour. Certainly, it is unpleasant when confronted with disabilities but they belong to nature. We live in a world where we hardly get everything we want.

To be happy and to make progress, we must learn to work with situations in nature that we cannot change rather than investing our time, energy and resources fighting an imaginary and fruitless war. Besides, disability in one form or the other, is one thing every animal that gets old will suffer at one point or the other before it is entirely disabled at death.

We all are undergoing this process! No matter what we wish ourselves we should be ready to accept and live with the reality of the contingency and fragility of life especially when we have done everything we should do as humans.

Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu

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