The flock of bird leaders met to discuss their plan for the avian festival. The dove suggested that a side event could focus on those who’ve lost their wings for whatever reason. The crow responded negatively, explaining that the side event would diminish attention to the festival. “Those disabled ones will also require additional work with the special care they need. We don’t have enough resources for them,” he added. Dove responded: “But isn’t it our responsibility as well to bring the beauty of flight to those who can no longer fly?”
The gathering became unwieldy as the members of the flock sided with either of the two speakers. The chair bird, Eagle, had a hard time containing the loud chirping, as he himself couldn’t decide where to side. “Let’s put this to a vote,” he ordered. When the votes were counted, dove’s suggestion obtained majority support. “The side event for lost wings will happen,” announced eagle, “but dove, for making the suggestion, is responsible for this.”
Dove was happy and sad at the same time. Happy for the unwanted birds; sad of the half-hearted support by their leader. As he was about to fly back, a number of his colleagues in the leaders’ flock came forward asking how they could help. He wasn’t alone after all. But what moved him the most was the gratitude of hawk who told him that he broke one of his wings once, and how lonely he was in his brokenness. He told dove, “Nobody helped me then, but that is alright. What lifts my heart is that we can do something to the least ones.”
Dr Ludwig Gutmann of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in UK was much like dove, by doing something to the least ones. He hosted a sport competition (called International Wheelchair Games) on the opening day of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, for British World War II veteran patients with spinal cord injuries. This continued in 1952 and had taken the name “Stoke Mandeville Games”. Twelve years from 1948, the first official Paralympic Games happened in Rome during the 1969 Olympic Games. The fifteenth edition of Summer Paralympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 with 204 nations expected to participate.
Each individual has a place in the world. Each individual has a role to play. The handicapped have as much right to have fun as those physically-able. The poor are as deserving as the rich to enjoy the gifts in life.
There are those who think they deserve better than others, so they work to accumulate more than they need. As a result, there is imbalance in the distribution of resources and of wealth.
Try we must to be instruments to regaining dignity for the hapless and the helpless on earth. For with God, they have a special place in His heavenly kingdom.
Heed we must to Christ’s teaching:” For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’” (Matthew 25:35-40)