Pity or envy?

It’s a curious thing, but many of the mentally and physically disabled frequent public parks here.  I’ve noticed them.  And while I watch from afar, not wanting to intrude or interfere, I can’t help but wonder: what must it be like, to see life as they do?

On one hand, they have been and will be dependent on caregivers for all of their lives, never to be truly free or to experience life in the driver’s seat, only in “cruise control.”  On the other hand, they are like children: innocent, unknowing.  True, they have extreme physical difficulties, but they are not complicated in their needs and desires.  I think about self-consciousness, jealousy, self-control, hypocrisy, and pretense.  These are problems and behaviors that will never be exhibited by the mentally disabled, for example.  Although they will be under the eyes of conscious adults until they die, they are to be envied, in some respect.  They hold nothing back and they simply live life as they are, without regard for embarrassment or humiliation or despair.  Perhaps emotions do cross them at times.  But despite this, I still can’t help but pity them.  There’s just no…love.  No real love, apart from compassion and pity, which are forms of love but not that strong.  These “children,” the most helpless of people, will never gain it.  To live life alone and without love…to be lonely forever…to never have a real human connection or understanding of what such a connection is…

Anyway…I will keep watching in interest and in thought.  But I won’t forget that this “healthy state of body and mind” that all we humans crave is both a blessing and a curse.

Natalie Gorna