Saturday, August 12, 2006

One Beautiful Mind

My nephew is now about 12 years old. He is healthy, handsome and possessed of a kind, friendly and extremely good natured personality.

He has since birth been struggling with a very mild form of autism - a handicap that he has managed to overcome with great success. He, does, however, have a few more learning and language comprehension skills to develop but on the whole he is a normal, happy and well-rounded kid.

It is his friendliness, his fresh innocence and affable nature that completely enthralls me. Unlike many of us, he gives and receives love and affection with no hint of hesitation or embarrassment. He never responds with anger except when provoked and forgives trespasses with the patience and fortitude of the saints. There is no hint of malice and ill will in him and the wide-eyed innocence with which he views the world can be touching as well as inspiring.

Imagine then a world populated by people like him - a world where selfishness, greed, violence and conflict would be aberrations rather than the norm. Where love, friendship and selfless empathy for others determine all human relations and interactions. Where cynics and pessimists have no place or reason for being.

Foolish idealism?

Maybe but everytime my nephew comes to Lianga to visit, I look at him with envy in my heart. Then I asked myself the question - who is handicapped now?

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