The Sound of Silence

Fourth week of the semester done! Yipeeee! twelve weeks to go! (as if namang malapit na e).

It was Wednesday then. Mid-week. And I couldn’t kinda feel the breeze of the Feb Fair for this year. I was in my SOC 160 (Social Change) class, quite sleepy and slothful perhaps because of the gloomy weather. Then someone caught my our attention. Someone was knocking at the front door of the classroom. There was a man, wearing plain whitish shirt, shorts and slippers handling a letter which was read by my classmate near the door. The man cannot speak, nor utter. He’s a mute. He used sign languages, hand gestures to imply to us what he really wanted to say– he was asking for financial help from us, and the letter (as read by my classmate) says that he was asking for twenty pesos from each of us so we’ll be able to help him out. My professor just smiled (with sarcasm) on us implying that he’s trying to ‘somehow’ lightly deal with the current situation. From there, he got his wallet from his pocket, gave 100 pesos to the mute and told him that that was on behalf of the whole class. BUT  THE MUTE RESISTED. (Yes! he did!) He, using his sign language (apparently pointing his fingers to each of us) beg for additional support from us (that twenty pesos tho). We, my classmates, smiled on each one. Still, some of them gave coins. But I did not.

It was not because I do not have a heart for differently-abled persons and never give sympathy and mercy on them. Was not also because I do not have money on my pocket (it’s still mid-week). It was because a man like him does not deserve mercy and sympathy. (ooops! continue reading) He deserves to be treated equally in the society. He shouldn’t take the stratification in a society like this. He should’ve not used his ‘incapability’to ask for money and beg for mercy from people. He is physically fit. He can see, can walk, hear and can (still) communicate through his sign languages from which he is used to.

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My point there was that, a person who happened to have physical disability should not only depend on others’ help to make a living and survive. Everybody must learn how to be independent, pursue his/her best interests and furthermore lead his way towards his own personal development. He can still find a job, given that, as I’ve said a while ago, he’s physically fit, in his early 30’s. I believe that he crafts and talents to show, capabilities that he can share and render to the world. It may be something that he is yet to discover and develop. But at the end of the day, there is, are rather, many ways to start and make a living… not only knocking at people’s door and beg for some.

I stand on that point because I am inspired by by differently-abled people I see in random places who are pursuing and persevering despite their inability to do something. Their works and jobs vary from the level of difficulty; but the bottom line is that they do execute their very best to work hard and survive. Some of them (who I’ve seen) were blind massage therapists, barker without legs, a vendor without her other hand, a deaf who make handicrafts, a traffic enforcer who was victimized by polio making his other leg shorter than the other, and many more. I believe you know some too.

These people are definitely very inspiring! They are not afraid to show the world what they’ve got despite the missing piece on them. They find solutions how to make ways. handle situations as such even if they have physical disabilities. I SALUTE THEM! 

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I am not saying that I do not have a heart to the man who knocked at the classroom’s door asking for twenty pesos per individual. I feel merciful, one is: because he’s mute. But what made me took pity on him was that he believes that he cannot do something making him depend on other people alone.

During my stay in the university, I have witnessed how he is doing the same thing for a very long time. I have given him money before– several times. But that was years ago and I was quite surprised that he’s still on the same business up until now! What I am pointing is that he should’ve paved some ways for him to gain money using his human capital. I believe that everyone of us are all capable of doing things that can generate money. I strongly believe that God has bestowed us different skills, talents (though I still do not discover mine yet) and capabilities.

Then a flashback of my English teacher during high school, Sir Ed Carpio came up. I remembered him say a famous proverb, “If you give a man a fish, he’ll live for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he’ll live everyday”. True, indeed. I am not saying that we don’t need help from others. We need them! Very badly. What I am trying to say is that, self-independence will far better be given and taught rather than money and mercy. Money will vanish eventually. But if a man is well-equipped with the principle of standing on his own and still persevering to conquer the battles of life, he can be compared to a soldier in the midst of a war. He doesn’t mind if he’s badly wounded. What matters to him is to survive.

Doesn’t mean you can’t talk to the world, the world will stop talking to you.

Anybody judging me already? Welcome.



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