This Ability – Gift Abled – Inclusiveness – Guest Column by Richa Sharma, Special Educator
In our weekly guest column, Richa Sharma, a special educator for 20 years and a member of the NGO MaitriBodh Parivaar, shares her thoughts about what the term inclusion encompasses.
World Disability Day was celebrated last week with many events. On this particular day, each year, many activities are done across the world with the intention to spread awareness and celebrate differences so that we learn to embrace each other’s uniqueness.
As the day has gone by and will come only after a year now, it is imperative that we implement the learnings that we have had by either participating in any event or even just being aware about it. Actually we do not need any specific day(s) to express ourselves or to celebrate abilities of each other. However, having a specific day for a cause, does bring our focus on a particular area which requires elevated awareness.
Inclusion is not a concept; it is one of the natural emotions that we should be experiencing like our other feelings which we feel from within such as compassion, being understanding, serving others, being sensitive, and so on. The source of all these emotions is Love, which is our true nature.
Inclusion is also a feeling that one feels naturally from within. If we observe the nature closely, we will find that all things in nature are unique, have their own qualities and cannot be compared with each other. We can’t compare wind with the sun or the sun with the trees. They all function in harmony and in sync with each other. The beauty of a forest lies in its embracing of different kinds of flora and fauna. A garden’s beauty is enhanced because of the variety of flowers that it has.
In the same way, we all have different strengths which makes us all special and unique in our own way. Imagine our state if we all were to be absolutely similar. It would have been so boring.
We are blessed that we are a part of a community which encourages us to experience Inclusion naturally. Inclusion is not limited to including differently-abled but considering each individual as equal yet special.
Let us all do a quick check within and observe ourselves without judging if inclusion comes naturally to us. If it does, let us help others experience it too; if it doesn’t, then do go within and contemplate on what is that block that is stopping us from this beautiful experience. While doing this, remember to be kind to yourself and accept yourself unconditionally first.
Let us all nurture these abilities (disabilities) that we all have and focus on strengthening each other’s strengths and supporting the weakness thus making all giftabled.
Inclusion will flow then.
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