Hello, teachers and school friends. I am Yang Jiashi from Class 7, senior Grade 2. Today, I am very honored to be standing here and share with you my experience in working in the blind school when I was in senor Grade 1, as a volunteer.
When I was a volunteer in the blind school, the biggest change I had was the disappearance of my prejudice. A lot of people misunderstand the blind’s life, including me in the past. This is why how shocked I felt the first day I had my meal in the school canteen. There was a happy atmosphere, and it was well-organized, I still can remember this clearly. Several kids were reading electronic books on their cell phone, some students were listening to the music, those who were waiting in line were talking about something --- I heard vaguely that some hardworking boy was memorizing the Story ofTengwang Pavilion --- some students greeted us. A student from lower grade asked me,” are you from NFLS? Are you coming here to attend the croquet match?” following his questions, we began our conversation. He told me that he was good at croquet, but his friends were even better. After a while, it was his turn, he took the food tray and said “thank you” to the clerk and “ goodbye” to me and went away with his friends. My prejudice in our life styles disappeared without trace after this meal. In fact, I felt that we had more similar topics than I had imagined. While I was eating, a boy next table was talking about A Sky with his friend, the other table was talk said,” what shall I do if I don’t do well in the exam? I am too nervous, I think I am finished!”I felt an echo with her, a sense of closeness soon began in my heart, that was the first impressive thing that had happened when I came to the blind school.
The second impressive thing took place at the opening ceremony of the croquet match. The two hosts were both very graceful, open and good at expressing themselves. Especially the girl, her voice was outstanding, her smile was full of confidence, she expressed herself smoothly and coherently, she was almost the best host at school that I had ever seen. The opening ceremony was going on very well with their hosting, but after my speaking, there was a minor accident, the boy seemed a little nervous, he forgot what he was going to say. “ hope we…hope…” he repeated again with uncertainty, touching the card in his hand, feeling the Braille. After 3 or 4 seconds, he couldn’t solve the problem, “ hope we would spend the time together, showing the best of youth! Next, let’s welcome…” he continued, and the audience laughed suddenly, a laughter that was well-intentioned, then they applauded. The applause began from the front and the back, flooding to the middle and gathering in the above sky, it lasted several seconds, but in my heart, it was always echoing there.
These two experiences made me understand the blind students more comprehensively and deeply, I had better understanding about the meaning of the word “respect”. Making friends with the blind students made me realize that there was a group of such people, though they couldn’t see, their youth was just as colorful as ours. At the same time, I had a chance to reflect upon myself deeply, explore the value of life. Shi Tiesheng said g in My Dream, in his eye, a disabled person, Carl Lewis, the famous champion of short races was the happiest man in the world. When Carl Lewis was defeated by Johnson, he realized that God never give “the happiest” to anyone, but set an eternal distance before humans’ desire, give everyone an equal, fair limit. If you can’t understand happiness with excelling yourselves on the limitless way, then the fact that Shi Tiesheng couldn’t run and Lewis couldn’t run faster mean exactly the same, they are both the origin of frustration and misery.
Comparing with the blind, we are really very “ happy”, but our happiness has limitations, in fact, these limitations are worse than the limitations which are ignored or invisible. Then, can we just overcome the limitations, embrace life bravely and live a better life?
I think, everyone can live a brilliant life in his own limitations, that is the best self-respect.
Li: thank you to Yang Shijia for her wonderful speech, she made us feel deeply that respect is a kind of decency, a kind of dignity, a kind of kindness, a kind of virtue, a kind of equality that is not humble.
Pan: respect is a spring breeze, a crystal spring, a key for souls to communicate, the stimulation to push us forward.
Li: life is different, whatever nationality, color, rich or poor, race everybody is, our life is a unique individual, an equal part in the universe. Today, we are lucky to invite a guest and listen to what she will say about “ respect”.
Pan: we invited Chen Huijiao from Nanjing Blind School. When she was born, she was blind with natural cataract. She loves writing and reading, so far she has written more than 30 poems, a drama and some prose. In 2013, she published her first book, the Warm Spring Days with Blossoms.
Li: Let’s welcome Chen Huijiao.
Hello, teachers and school friends. I am Chen Huijiao from Nanjing Blind School. I am very happy to share with you my opinions about “respect the disabled” today.
As a person who is zero-sight, having no visual feeling, I am often asked this question when I am talking with others;” since you can’t see, how can you use cell phones, computers? How do you have classes and do the homework? How do you go shopping? Even how do you walk, how do you dress yourself and eat?
At the beginning, I felt offended at these questions, isn’t it apparently prejudice? What’s wrong with being blind? Being blind means you can’t use cell phones, computers? Can’t dress yourself, eat or walk? But with time passing by, gaining more experience, I gradually realized that all these didn’t mean prejudice, to be exact, they just meant the most real suspicion and curiosity that people want to know, people who didn’t notice know about the world of the disabled.
I remember, last year, I read an article from the Wechat titled How Far Are We from a Non-barrier World”, at the time I thought, what “ a non-barrier world” was like, as mentioned in the title, what barriers do we encounter on the way to such a world, which barrier is the most difficult to conquer, how we can turn the mountains and river that stop us before us into the linking paths, as Tao Yuanming wrote?
After some careful thoughts, I realized that the biggest barrier that we are facing is that we couldn’t mix with the society equally. With the social development, changing situations, the fast speed of traveling a thousand li a day in economy and technology could be described as the speed of our time. With such a big revolution, getting online, shopping, studying and living are not a hard thing for us, but we still can’t mix with other people equally, its reason is definitely not the prejudice, simple or cruel, from the outside world, we can minimize the gap between us and the society by just depending on scientific technology. So I wrote the following in my Wechat: for you, I just want to say, come, show your concern about our world, then try to know what our world is like, only by this, will you not be surprised at or curious about the things we do, such as how to use computer, how to use a guiding stick, which are as usual as daily eating and dressing, will you not be surprised at or curious about our writings, our life; about us, I just want to say, come, open the gate to the outside world, let’s walk out, bring in more people, show them our world, make them know more about us, only by doing these can we breathe every inch of sunshine freely one day, can we not live in others’ curiosity or exploring looks.
So, teachers, school friends, please follow our steps and walk into the world of the blind, begin your respect from concern and understanding, from changing your rooted knowledge about us. When we are not curious about each other, we will begin an equal exchange, I long for such a harmony, I long for the thorough enjoyment even more.
In the education concept in our school, this is the most impressive for me: confess the gap, minimize the gap. Life is different; everybody has his own features different from others, there are barriers in our life, more or less, different forms of barriers, and for the disabled, our individual differences and our own barriers are rather general and obvious, apart from these, there is no difference between us and normal people. Humans’ emotions of happiness, anger and sadness, we have, too, and we experience them, too. We have to admit the difference that is caused by our handicapped physical function, we don’t want to stay in a confined corner like a coward, weeping like a pitiful person. We should be careful of binding ourselves with the overprotective self-respect, or we might be arrogant, conceited or a self-isolating, prudish creature. We dare to show the weakest part in real life, we are willing to accept help from others; we try to minimize the gap as possible as we can, and try to grow up with determination when we are independent.
Not long ago, I watched a weir show of positive force called “Weirdo”, in which there was a blind boy call Cai Cong, I was shocked by what he said, I wrote a paragraph in my Wechat with a sigh, in the end, I’d like to share it with you, it is the most sincere monologue, from the bottom of my heart, about the theme “ respect the disabled” : I hope, one day, people’s praise is not because we can do something with a visual disability, but because we can really do it; people feel ashamed not because we can still survive with a disability, but because we long for life. For us, there are so many routines to break, there are so many rooted self-knowledge for us to change; for you, there are so many rigid impressions about us to redefine, there are so many misunderstandings to correct completely. Don’t say “ you are great, you can still do … even you are blind.” Just as you don’t want to misspend your youth, we don’t, either. Don’t say” we are ashamed, we are healthy and normal but we are no better than you.” … because a lot of lifting of a finger, which you are unconscious of, is our regrets and longings. We don’t deny the physical differences between us, but these differences can interfere or make up for through our efforts; what you and we need to attach importance to is our own respective attitude, misunderstandings, rigid impressions, mistaken knowledge of the visual sense, audio sense and smelling sense, even other physical barriers,. What needs to attach importance to more is the gap between you and us mentally and spiritually, the gap is hard to minimize, interfere or make up. We know equality is a long process, it needs a long time and patience. So we will try hard, we will walk toward you gradually, slowly, little by little, we hope you can try as hard from the other side, without looking up or looking down, but looking at each other at the same level, at the same horizon, walk toward us slowing, little by little. I hope, one day, we could get along well with each other in daily life, we could give warmth to each other under the bright sun.
Pan: yes, confess the gap, minimize the gap. Respect is the best medicine to minimize the gap between people. The gap exists everywhere in our life. Maybe you don’t grow it on purpose, but looking back, it becomes green everywhere. Where there is respect, there is sincerity in our life, there is hope in the future.
Li: teachers, school friends, let’s take action, holding NFLS spirit of “ a Chinese soul and a global mind”, respect others, treat others equally, make our campus, our society more civilized, more harmonious, stable, safe and healthy!
Pan: today’s morning meeting now comes to an end, thank you!