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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A QUEST OF PASSION

The last two days have been rather intensive and exhaustive for me as I engaged in a conference and had to attend some meetings. I’m not about to talk about the content of these events but rather want to share with you some realisations that came to me in the past 24 hours.

When I speak of passion I’m not of course referring to any ‘passion’ that people assume I should go through as a person with impairments. I feel terrible when people think of me in terms of ‘suffering’ and tragedy. But needless to say, my passion is related to the experience of disability.

In fact, as I engaged into the debates and discussions I noted that this was not an issue that I simply had taken as a practical solution. The issue of being recognised as a person and as an individual was a personal matter. That said, being constantly denied that rightful position in life for a long time has meant that it’s also something that connects me with every disabled person on the planet. But I would go farther than that.

I have come to realise more strongly how my problems as a disabled person are not that different from that of other groups who suffer at the hands of society. We tend to think of ethnic or religious minorities, gays and lesbians, people coming from different races and so on as separate from us. But indeed, the common elements that bind us together are obvious and perhaps too upsetting for a general public to admit to. The institutions that we live in, the attitudes that we encounter and the way we are treated are all symptomatic of the failure of society to accept difference. And it is precisely this implicit or explicit exclusion that fuels my passion.

The passion to live, to be free from the chains of prejudice or misconception, the passion of being accepted on my own terms, and the passion of being whatever I wish to be. But of course, this passion fights constantly against a world that does not stop and think of its judgement or of its obligations.

I don’t mean to preach or anything here but I feel that I must pursue something more than ever before. I have hidden away from recognising the value of my differences, both in terms of physiology and ideology. Although I cannot say I have come to attain my life’s targets at present, what I can say is that I am hopeful in the future.

Not that I can forget that this world of ours is passing through periods of extremism and radical realities – be it from the rise of the far right, to the threat of terrorism and finally to the conflict of ideas... but that it may be for these same reasons the right time to express who I am inside because even if I may not be able to prevent my own death, it’s better to die in battle than in defeat.

I’m not talking of any real war and battle here but rather the inner struggle that is in each of us to discover who we really are and the passion that should truly motivate our life. Ultimately, this passion as I see it is tied to the attainment of our value as friends, lovers and as humans.

Passion is such a difficult think to describe and to me it extends to what I believe in and to those I love. That said, passion must co-exist with love in order for it to bear its fruits. For a passion robbed of love may quickly turn to a fanaticism or even false ideas that drive us to seek out and destroy what is different to us, including others we deem ‘inferior’ or ‘evil’. This dangerous turn of events is not without its consequences. Perhaps the greatest being the impoverishment of humanity and of our diversity.

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