How heterogeneous can be God’s creation? One almighty for all but obliged for their limitations.
Limitations. Yes, people, you just read it right. It would be best if you were confused as to who I am referring to here. I refer to all those innocent souls whom society mocks, feels pity for, and doesn’t give enough opportunities. This is what they are confined to, not because of their choices but because of life itself.
The Flame of Hope
When I look back on the past few months of my life, I realize that I have learned a lot. Learned what real brotherhood is, what sharing is, what affection truly feels like, and many greater human values.
1. Motivational Speakers
But know what? This awakening did not come from motivational speakers, inspiring movies, or the so-called educational or self-help books we are assigned. This has come from “Flame of Hope”– a place that is enough to rekindle one’s soul with optimism and the feeling of belonging to everyone.
My friend and I had something in common. It was not regarding our hobbies or favoritism, but we both shared empathy for these less fortunate children. We had hope for their better future. The first visit to this place called Flame of Hope, an orphanage for these differently-abled children, gave us goosebumps when we saw these children.
Moments of silence prevailed between my friend and me when we looked at those kids and then quietly looked at each other with teary eyes, not uttering a word but the same question pondered: how could a parent deprive their “expected world” of “their world.” The first short visit was painful for us.
2. The Secret Gift
We talked to the staff members there and learned that none of them knew their birthdays. Their birthdays were celebrated keeping in mind the month they were brought in but what shook our minds and hearts during our second visit was the unimaginable optimism for the life they were all filled with. I can’t recall the name of one pessimist I came across.
4. The Children
All of them warmly welcomed us on our second visit. One of them was Zane, a visually impaired kid, yet he sang for us ardently. The melody of his voice still revolves in the back of my mind. Then they held our hands and asked us if we could make them play something. They injected their enthusiasm into us with their innocent smiles, and together we played various games with our best efforts.
One girl named Donna would repeatedly ask for another chance in the game so lovingly that her cuteness would make us fall for her. On our next visit, we got football and cricket equipment. I can’t describe how inspiring the cricket match was when I saw this boy who was one-handed by birth and played cricket with so much zeal.
This young teen would sit by the side of two visually impaired ones and describe the whole scenario. Few of them would come to us and whisper in our ears, “Thank you, didi and bhaiya, you make us feel loved.” Their one sentence would mean the world to us. Departing from the place happened to be the most challenging thing for us.
The affectionate support that each one of them had for each other was remarkable and heart-touching at the same time. Then, we looked forward to giving them something or sharing moments of love with them on every other visit. But it was always vice versa. We were the ones who received love, and we learned many lessons from them.
If one of them fell, every child would come to lend a helping hand, even those with calipers. I don’t think we as a society are so welcoming to help each other this way. Few of them would sing beautifully, and few would dance gracefully. They didn’t mind failing a hundred times or falling a thousand; they loved being themselves and embraced their very own uniqueness, that gave me hope.
No fabrications of any sort. When we departed, those kids would come to hug us tightly and ask us to come back really soon. All their smiling faces will never fade for my friend and me, and I wish we could stay there forever.
6. Differently ‘ABLED’
Sharing this experience was to portray a picture to the readers that these people are certainly not “physically disabled.” It is you, me, and the society which is mentally disabled. They are again “disabled” not by choice but because of life itself. Don’t even dare to think that all they need is sympathy or you telling them how disheartened you feel for their plight.
These gestures will corrode their willpower to dust and do them good. Please do not leave them. All they need is a few moments of laughter. Such children need genuine affection from us. Let this be the reason for sheer happiness for them.
“Flame of Hope” never halts, giving my friend and I hope for everything we will do in life. It inspires us to become better human beings. If there is one thing that we all can do to make these children feel that they are not alone or differently-abled, then it is to shower upon them all the love and care we have. Instead of being sympathetic, you can be empathetic. The love inside your heart will be yelling at you to say: “Please take me to that right place.”
My friend asked me, “where do you want my birthday party?”
I replied, “Let’s celebrate it with the “Flame of Hope.”
Since then, that place has been family to both of us!