Friday, 4 May 2018
The handshake from a blind perspective: #the white cane miles:
The handshake from a blind perspective: #the white cane miles: As usual you know Mpofu namba 1 I love Public transport not that it’s the best but that’s how social and economic lifeline is. Mostly when I travel to town or to far distances I love the busses. They are full of intrigs. We have the famous preachers who would like the Blind like me to evaporate from the world we become “Sighted” As though we the Blind have requested so! Anyway there might be those Blind guyhs who are debatably praying for miracles but am not one of them. The equating of blind with ignorant and the automatic assumption that we need and want fixing cause great harm to those of us who are blind. It makes us into beings who always need charity and have nothing to offer in return other than gratitude. My God doesn’t think that way. God created me and I believe (at least on good days) that I too am “wonderfully made.” This view of disability leaves me free to use my talents to love others and work for justice instead of waiting to be healed in this world or the next. That’s why I remain Chief Disability soldier.on the other hand, some religious fanatics emphasize on the following extracts: One of the major root causes for the discriminatory acts against PWD in Kenya is religion-related. Theological interpretations of disability have significantly shaped the ways in which society relates to PWD. The Bible is intermingled with texts that have been interpreted in oppressive ways and together these continue to reinforce the marginalization and exclusion of PWD in the social, economic, political, and religious life of the society. Eiesland (1994:73-74) identifies three theological themes that have created obstacles for PWD. The first is conflating disability with sin. The belief that disability indicates punishment for wrongdoing and mars the divine image in humans has often barred those with disabilities from positions of leadership or stigmatized them for their presumed lack of faith. The second theme views disability as virtuous suffering. Disability has been identified as suffering that must be endured in order to purify the righteous, a teaching that encourages passive acceptance of social barriers for the sake of obedience to God. The third theme perceives PWD as cases of charity. Although charitable activity for PWD is at times a means of creating justice, it subverts justice when it segregates PWD from society and keeps PWD out of the public eye rather than empowering them for full social, economic, and political participation. The outcome of all these themes is what Eiesland (1994) has referred to as a "disabling theology." The Bible, which is the major source of Christian theology, illuminates this further. anyway let me return to my issue Blindness (or any disability) has its difficulties: • I have to ask again and again for what I need from others • There’s a bubble around me in public such that people hesitate to approach me • It costs more to buy adaptive equipment than regular gizmos. • Sometimes I’m discriminated against. I deal with the frustrations daily which consumes more energy than not being blind. But there are also the positives of being blind: • Humorous things happen as I interact with a sighted world. • I’m more aware of the interdependence of us all. • I know that many people are helpful most of the time. • I get to have an intelligent being, my white cane AKA “fimbo yangu” plus my latest Soundscape app, by my side as I walk through life. • The frustrations both from the blindness and from interacting with “spiritually blind” people make me stronger. list end If you feel compelled to share your good news about the future as you understand it where the blind see, or if you want to pray for my sight to be restored, please consider doing the following first: list of 3 items • Get to know me and my world before you decide how to make it better. • If we’ve discussed faith and we’re at the level of knowing each other where you’d be comfortable with me praying for you, then feel free to ask if I’ll pray for you and offer to pray for me as well. • Then ask how you can pray for me and do the praying from my perspective of needs. I may ask for healing, for strength to fight discrimination or for patience to deal kindly with others’ responses to my disability. If I ask for something you don’t agree with, like a driverless car that’s too expensive and might malfunction and bring us all to Heaven before our time, pray for more accessible transportation options instead e.g crossing in Thika road or westlands. This is my real Handshake movement. If you want to share your best guesses about Heaven, listen to mine as well. Maybe together we can make a little Heaven on earth where both the sighted and the blind understand that we all are wonderfully made and have gifts to share. this is the real handshake!