On the London commute.
“White people think we live in trees.
How I ring the bell”.
She is unwell
Her mind full of some song
Of real or imagined wrong.
“Stolen from Africa” she says.
Soon we will go our separate ways.
Full of god knows what.
The train stops
And she gets off.
Has there been racism in this lady’s life?
Or is it some other strife
That made her rant and shout
As we travellers went about
Our daily commute.
I can not get to the root
A mind shattered into bits.
This morning while traveling on the train, a lady who described herself as coming from Zimbabwe addressed her fellow commuters. Among other things she said that white people believe Africans still live in trees and asked that someone tell her how to ring the bell (the communication cord to stop the train).
I don’t know what was going on in this lady’s head (no one had said anything to provoke her outburst) and I can only conclude she is in need of medical help.
I became blind due to a blood clot on my brain at the age of 18 months. I feel very lucky as the doctors predicted that I could suffer from severe mental impairments which is, fortunately not the case. I attended university and have a full time job which I enjoy doing. Above all I am grateful for the fact that I’m able to live independently.
Unfortunately many blind people receive little support from their local council on losing their sight. I was fortunate to learn how to use a white cane at school and (later) a guide dog. Many people who lose their vision wait a long time to receive mobility and other assistance to ajust to losing their sight from their local authority.
The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) has recently released a report drawing attention to the difficulties faced by many blind people, http://www.rnib.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/news/Pages/facing-blindness-launch.aspx. RNIB is calling on the government to ensure that the Care Bill which is currently going through Parliament reflects the needs of visually impaired people. If you live in the UK I would appreciate it if you would consider writing to your MP to ask that they ensure the needs of blind people are reflected in the legislation. You can find a template letter together with further information at the above link.
For anyone who is curious how I, as a blind person use a standard Windows PC, I have Jaws software which converts the contents of the screen into speech and braille allowing visually impaired people to use a standard computer. The software is sold by a US company called Freedom Scientific.
This story about a young girl with a mother who is addicted to drugs and alcohol is worth checking out. I’ve just read chapter one and I’m looking forward to reading the remainder http://medusamoon13.webs.com/