And yet again,the following is sensational but interesting story from my personal diary (2007). I don't remember exactly, the source from where i copied, but it definitely has profound meaning in it; special credit goes to the actual writer. I reproduce here with hope that anyone who read this could remember it at least at one point of their lives. Here it goes:
A soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam called his parents from San Fransisco:
"Mom and Dad, I am coming home, but i have a favour to ask, I have a friend i would like to bring home with me."
"Sure," they replied, "we would love to meet meet him."
The son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a landmine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and i want him to come and live with us."
"I am sorry to hear that, son. May be we can help him find somewhere to live."
"No, mom and dad, I want him to live with us."
"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you are asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we cannot let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He will find a way to live on his own."
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him then; their son had died after falling from a building;it was SUICIDE. The parents went to San Fransisco and saw that their son had only one arm and one leg.
This story (perhaps it was fact) has underlying truth. Even if you and i were his parents, we might have replied from the similar angle; may be we might not have said rudely (it differs) but our point would have been still the same-"such a handicap would be terrible burden". While it would be natural to put blame(by society) on parents,in this case, for acting unkindly, it could be other-way round to be more appropriate.
Somewhere, deep down, unconsciously we have a fear of societal retribution. Lets take the fact-why AIDS patients do not want to let other know of their disease? or why it(fact) is kept confidential? The reason is clear: they fear from public criticism. Lets imagine one patient confessing the truth and the very outcome we could easily foresee is that he/she losses friends, family and may be anything the so called normal people will have. Yes! there is a reason why they do not confess; and we don't have enough reason to blame them. It must be we as society that should change. Our mindset needs to create space for those who are infected with diseases, are handicap, aged or so.
And it is quite encouraging to see today that these groups of minorities are being taken care of (or at least starting to put effort to make their lives worth living). We can see the effort world wide to enhance the opportunity of disabled in case of education, employment etc; aged/elderly are being taken care of; equal opportunities for men or women.Only thing the peaceful-world would need is no fear of OSTRACISM.