Updated: Feb 1, 2020
I've been battling. I feel the unfairness and injustice repeatedly playing in my head. 20 years ago, I was with mum in a fancy shopping mall. We wanted to have lunch but most of the restaurants weren't wheelchair friendly. I wheeled her about and found one but we had to literally rearrange the furniture in that restaurant so we could get her in. At the elevator, people were jumping queue because we were too slow and took up space. Some relatives and friends tried to avoid the topic of her illness and hardly render any help nor prayers because the situation was abnormal, awkward and shameful. The stigma left a negative imprint in my heart for a period of time but I've learned forgiveness to others and self and move on.
Yesterday, at M&S, I saw an old man walking crookedly and slowly into the cafe to get a croissant and a coffee. The symptoms of his illness reminded me of my late mum but despite his physical sufferings, he was adamant to make it to the cafe on the second floor. He must have taken a long time just to get there and that shows how strong-willed he is. His physical weakness did not struck him down because his mind and spirit were stronger. My heart was filled with compassion for him.
I am pretty much house bound with a cold bug. And when one is down with a particular illness, others are quick to judge and jump into conclusions on why we deserve to be ill. Similarly, people will judge a person's wealth by the car they drive and the size of their house and one's intelligence by their academic attainments and qualifications. People will judge a homeless for not working hard enough to earn a living. It's so easy to pass judgements on others without even knowing the full story. Like it or not, we live in a judgemental society because people place their bets and hopes in life successes based on their personal strengths, self helps and achievements. We can build the tallest tower and most epic metropolis operated by robots and drones but it takes only one earthquake or a pandemic to destroy humanity. If we are stripped down to our bare minimum, what else can we hope for?
Throughout our life, there will be people, even our closest groups will inevitably or inadvertently cause us to feel like outcasts due to dissimilarities in geographical location, culture, upbringing, family background, faith and religions, opinions, preferences and thoughts. Should we let that draw us to depression and self pity or should we embrace the differences and pick up the courage to be different regardless we are liked or disliked? Don't let others' disappointing behaviour redefine our purpose and meaning in life. We can spend a whole lot of money consuming health supplements to extend our lives and to look youthful. If our physical health is optimum but spiritual and mental health are malnourished, we won't live a fulfilled life. I was consuming vitamin C for weeks and yet I caught a cold! I was feeling miserable until I was nudged to change my thought process and instantly felt 90% better! (This is just an example, please don't stop taking your vitamins if you have to!) There are so much daily battles but life is about making choices, daily. We can't fight every battle and we need to let go of that pride that we can do everything ourselves - especially those things that look remarkably tempting which would only destroy us in the end; in order to pick our battles wisely.
"1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast".