He was deaf. He was deprived of the unique gift of hearing. People around him wondered how he would go on. They wondered how he would carry on doing what he did. But he did, and did in style. He carved his name in gold in the almanac of human civilization. He was Ludwig van Beethoven. He was deaf…so what?
Beethoven is one of the greatest musicians of all times even though he was deaf. So why can’t an average deaf guy live his life the way he wants to? After all he does have the four senses which make his life worth living. Why can’t society accept him the way he is? He is a human being; he is like us, isn’t he? Maybe a little different but still one of us.
A child may show signs of deafness when he is a few years old. There may also be people who lose their sense of hearing as time passes by. The most important thing is to understand him but without showing too much of compassion. Too much compassion may discourage him.
Parents should try to understand the deaf child. They should not be over protective. They should just let him live a normal life and help build his confidence so that he can face life.
Society should also learn to take in these people in its fold. Society should treat him like a normal person, and treat him with respect. They are a bit different but what does it matter? This is what makes each and every individual different and unique. This is what makes our society diverse.
There are also ways by which the deaf can overcome their shortcomings. Medical help should be provided from the time their deafness is detected. Hearing aids help out in this care. There are special schools that teach children to communicate with others. They want to talk, they want to be able to share their thoughts and ideas with us. All they need is a person who listens to them, or rather, a person who is willing to listen to them. And its not hard to get what they say if we are willing to lend our ears to them. They might not be able to talk but they are no less creative, or imaginative or smart.
The main thing is to treat him like the child next to him – to care for him, to listen to him, to talk to him, to let him live his life the way he wants, to love him. This will make him confident of himself. The next time he looks at his image in the mirror he can look into his own eyes and say “Deaf…So what?”