Accessibility

Thursday, 7th March

7:58am

As I was rushing to be on time for my 8am lecture (because I’m always late), I noticed someone in particular as I was rushing by.

I saw a person in a wheelchair.

This should not be so extraordinary since a person in a wheelchair is normal. However, during these six months that I have been attending university, I have never seen a person in a wheelchair on campus. When I saw this person, I did not feel surprised, I felt glad that there are people in wheelchairs on campus, who are probably attending a course at university.

Earlier this year, I attended a meeting regarding accessibility on campus for people with special needs and quite frankly, the University of Malta is not accessible for these people in some areas on campus. Ever since then, I have always kept an eye out to see a special needs person on campus and today was the first. I hope it is not the only.

I felt the need to express this ordinary person I had to see. I am certainly not a morning person so if you tried to speak to me in the morning, I could be a little grumpy. Especially on Thursdays when I would have to wake up early to go to this particular lecture that I despise. At such a time of day, my mind would be still in a daze, therefore, I found it incredible that I had to walk by and see her. She was minding her own business, probably going to a lecture. She did not seem to be suffering to push the wheelchair. I felt like I was in a movie, everything was going so fast yet in a split of a second, it all came to me when I saw her. It really made me think.

Our lives are waves of nothingness. Why do we work every day? Why do we study to get a decent-wage job? Is this really what life is? Do we die having done the things which make us happy?

Then consider a person in a wheelchair for example. The wheelchair is a physical limitation however it does not stop such a person from living and I find that marvellous. Sometimes we put up our own barriers, not even realizing that we are limiting ourselves. Breaking down walls is harder than building them up. It takes courage and strength to turn your limitations into strengths, thus truly living. I think a simple object like a wheelchair means a lot. It shows strength, a strength that not everyone has. We have access to many things in our lives. We just need to realize that we have that liberty.

The ordinary can be a form of beauty in its simplicity, in its ordinary way of being. We all look for the extraordinary and to be special however such beauty can be found underneath the filters of life; the ordinary.

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