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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Body Paradox

Yesterday, I finished my second day at work after a long absence. I was relieved to know that I had got through a second day as the first one was difficult and physically stressful. However, I got to meet my colleagues again ... And my friends. I felt a person again. At the same time, I am changed by my previous experience at hospital. Was it a nightmare?

One may be forgiven to think that my return to work was premature. Don't think I didn't have my own doubts. Yet I knew that I had to get away from the temptation of giving up to self-pity. I had to live again for this life without people was no life at all. It's hard to admit I know but so true.

Going back to work was necessary to remember who I was. Or rather to shift my attention from my body which had been the fixation of those around me. Not that it was inappropriate but perhaps too much.I wasn't my medical condition. Not my impairments. Here comes the paradox. I was a person, yes, but the world knows me through my body and interacts with my face, voice or touch. I won't go as far as taste or smell but those also come with the package.

Thus, in all honesty, deciding to start working was influenced by the fact my place of work was accessible. So, while I am not my body, the body is part of me. It's surprising how often I've met people who profess their commitment to equal opportunity and then drag their feet when it comes to providing things that would really make a difference. Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with dragging your feet - believe me I've done quite aplenty in my life (literally and not).

Believe me, all the words in favour of inclusion and equality cannot hide the fact that having a lift and a screen reader gave me the choice to work again. Of course, society played a vital part. And so is the mutual respect and support of my friends and colleagues. Yet, in the real world, people - however good or kind - won't be carrying you up the stairs or read to you. Nor do I expect that'd. It's undignified and just unneeded! When there are other options.

In short, I come to a full circle. I am more aware of the influence of society, on the one hand, and thee inescapable presence of my body. However, I refuse to believe I'm determined by any of them. Indeed, it's in our interest to transcend them to make the world a better one for all.

."All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual"
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)