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You are special

September 11, 2008

The Beijing 2008 Paralympics Games is on now until next week, 17 September 2008. Watching some of the events, I could not help feeling how really special the athletes at the games are. One has to be very strong, both physically and mentally as well as having that strong determination to compete. That’s what I thought whenever I see the look of their faces.

Egypt's Sherif Othman Othman cries on the podium after receiving his gold medal at the Games. He broke the world and Paralympic record three times in the Men's 56 kilogram category.

Egypt’s Sherif Othman Othman cries on the podium after receiving his gold medal at the Games. He broke the world and Paralympic record three times in the Men’s 56 kilogram category.

Talking about special, I once read a true-life story by a wheel-chair bound young lady. She had an accident which left her paralyzed from hip down and eventually had to have her two legs amputated.

It was really touching to read on how she had to adapt to her ‘new’ life. Initially she said that it was fun wheeling around. It hit her when she went out shopping several months later. Shelves were too high for her to reach. She found she was with the same eye-level with children, who looked scared at her legless body. Even some adults avoided eye contact with her.

Her social activities also came to a halt at a movie with friends. All laughed when a character in the movie parked his car for special people and blocked a wheel-chaired man who was maneuvering his vehicle for the same spot. She left the movie in tears.

After awhile, strength gave her a new dimension. She decided that she should stop feeling sorry for herself and blame the whole world for what had happened to her. At the end of her story, she told of her success – sitting in a board room in one of the high-rise buildings in New York.

Personally for me, I have experienced how it felt to be unable to use part of your body. A few weeks after I dislocated my shoulder, I couldn’t use my right hand completely. I became a left-handed. Eating was a chore, using the computer became a nuisance even brushing my teeth was awkward as I have to use my left hand. In short, life was not the same like before. Now alhamdullilah, it’s getting better and I can type as normal albeit slower, etc. I am truly grateful.

So to all the special people out there, I salute you for your determination and positive outlook in life.

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