Handicapped: an Inspiration for Hope and Faith
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The visual image in review, which of a handicapped woman, represents hope and faith in one’s self. This progression essay has two main sections. The first will look at why this idea is important to consider, and the second section will analyze the larger implications of this idea.
The idea that handicapped persons represent hope and faith can be based on logic and facts. As we look at them, we see the challenges they face and the obstacles they have to overcome on a daily basis. A woman without legs standing beside people who are able bodied is a visual that shows an obvious challenge. Then, you notice that she has her active wear on, she is wearing her swimming gear. It speaks to the viewer that in spite of her challenge, she is willing to do what others are doing. She has the courage to do what people who do not have her type of challenge are doing. In order to do this, she has put in extra effort to learn how to swim without her limbs and stay safe in the water. This represents determination and a belief in herself.
Where there is no hope, there cannot be determination or faith. She is also walking on her stumps among healthy people who are sitting down. This speaks to the viewer that she has accepted herself; she is not ashamed of her disability, her imperfection. She is comfortable with herself. The fact that she is also swimming says that she is using her talents and her gifts inspite of her handicap. She is taking care of her body by exercising, even though her body is not perfect.
Looking at the visual image, one can see a combination of hope, faith in oneself, perseverance, determination, courage, diligence, self-acceptance, health awareness, and active talent. People with disabilities are not less fortunate in the society. They showcase the beauty in humanity. They inspire us to consider what we are blessed with and to be the best we can. They inspire us to look above challenges and continue boldly with living productively. They also challenge us to face obstacles with hope.
The fact that the handicapped are so positive should make people who are not using their time positively ashamed. Some able bodied mean and women indulge in destructive habits and are lazy. Some spend their time cowering in life when challenges come their way or obstacles happen. Some give up at the sign of trouble. While we do not wish it on them, but the handicapped living their lives should challenge us to consider that we ought to be living to the fullest we can.
Another aspect is that the visual inspires us to create hope for the handicapped. What are their needs? How can we better serve them? What can be done to make them happier? As they inspire us to hope and belief in ourselves, we should honor them by serving, loving, and caring for them. In inspiring faith and hope, they inspire it both for those who are not handicapped and for the handicapped.
The idea of hope, self-acceptance, and faith has a great implication for the society at large. A large incidence of mental health problems in the United States today is due to the fact that people cannot face the challenges that confront them or the obstacles they encounter in their lives. Some do not seem to have the will-power to continue living after a set-back. In a study of 235,067 adults in the United States, 9.1% had depression and another 4.1% had major depression. The study also found that divorced persons, people who were unemployed, and people who could not work were among those who tend to have depression (cdc.gov). Also, nearly 30,000 Americans kill themselves every year, especially young adults.
More people die from suicide than from HIV/AIDS. For people aged 15-24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. Even children under the age of 14 also commit suicide. Depression is the strongest factor behind suicide (cdc.gov). Most of these deaths are due to situations which the persons felt they could no longer handle or deal with in their lives. Therefore, as we look at the visual image and its idea of hope, we can see that the message that it conveys can be a powerful one in today’s society. Many people need encouragement; some need to be inspired and motivated to move on with their lives despite whatever may have happened to them. People need encouragement even to seek help.
Thewes (2012) describes handicapped people as God’s special people. She writes that they teach us about the human spirit and the human soul. She then tells the story of a child amputee who infected other people with his cheerfulness. She also writes about how a middle-aged man was inspired to go on with life and pursue his dreams after he met this little handicapped boy. Here, we see handicapped representing hope for both a full bodied person and a fellow handicapped person.
Lowery (2008) writes about handicapped people that overcame great obstacles to become great. He writes about a man who had no arms or legs but who was a motivational speaker and was touching lives in Australia. He also talked about Stephen Hawkings who has used a wheel chair almost all his life but is a theoretical physicist of world renown. He also talked about former American president Franklin D. Roosevelt who was paralyzed and used a wheelchair all the time he was in office.
Browne (2010) writes about Pat Stack, David Blunkett, and Tanni Thompson. Stack used a wheelchair. He was a brilliant politician in London. Blunkett held many important public positions including the position of an Education Secretary. He had been blind from the birth. Thompson was a wheelchair athlete and later became a TV presenter. One can only imagine the amount of sacrifice and focus that it took for these people to overcome their challenges.
These are just some few examples of handicapped people who did not let their handicaps keep them from pursing their dreams and using their talents. They all must have worked extremely hard to achieve the successes they did. Not only did they succeed, they became great people. From the president to the little boy that just has his cheerful smile to give, the word hope is what they all represent.
Handicapped people have overcome challenges such as living without sound, without sight, without limbs, without voices, and so many other aspects of physical life to become great people in life. This should speak to the society to buckle up. In their lives, we read the story that we all can overcome if we believe in ourselves and have hope. We also can overcome obstacles if we look beyond ourselves and our circumstances.
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