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Get Down To Wheelchair Level

Derek Paravicini is autistic and completely blind, but his musical talents defy logic. Reports claim he can remember the thousands of musical pieces he has heard, and reproduce them on the piano. Only 1.5 pounds at his premature birth, he has difficulty counting to ten. His gait is halting, and his speech stilted. (Go to YouTube and type his name into the search engine. (You are certain to be inspired).


After watching the video, certain memories came to mind. I often walk past those who are different. Some are in wheel chairs. Some are covered with dirt and sweat. Some are despondent. Whatever the reason, I am uncomfortable with birds that don’t have the same feathers.


Different…


...sometimes, we go to the other side of the street to avoid it.


Hospitals are full of such people. Nursing homes, too. People in wheelchairs dot the hallways, their blank stares are often rehearsed, and not necessarily a physical condition. They know that no one really sees them, or at least that is the perception. Why look someone in the eyes, when they so assiduously avoid looking back?


If I was in wheelchair or a hospital bed, I would want you to get on eye level and talk to me. I would feel as if my world had gotten a lot shorter, and if that wasn’t bad enough, it would seem no one noticed that my life had changed dramatically. Isolated by lower elevation, I would also long for the intimacy of face to face conversation.


We miss marvelous things sometimes…a musical savant perhaps…or a feeling that we lifted someone else’s day. Either experience would be thrilling.


At the least, we miss opportunities to learn, for every human being has a gift to offer…if we but take the time to stop at a wheelchair…kneel, and listen.

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