Perspective : Cupertino High School UN Story Challenge
Photo Courtesy of Corey Ann
When I was about four or five years old, my mother had put my brother and sister in a volunteer service which helped numerous kids with different disabilities. The volunteers would play with each of them and try to teach them lessons and life skills. It was a day care place for these kids who would be surrounded by “good” influences and give them the opportunity to socialize with other kids their same age. My brother and sister had volunteered there for an entire summer. I heard of the many positive experiences and friends my siblings made there. I begged my family relentlessly, but my mother said I was still too young to volunteer at the day care full time. By the end of the summer, my mom finally took me there.
They introduced me to a young boy named Alfred. He looked like any other kid, and at first I wondered why he was even at the day care. His disability wasn’t too severe, but it was a bit difficult to communicate with him properly. At that time, I was only a little girl. In front of both of us, we saw building blocks, so we decided to play with them. I helped to show him how to build up castles and various other structures. I was quiet and shy at the time, but I treated him like any other friend and gave him any helping hand I could.
From this experience I was able to learn how these kids are really quite similar to everyone else. They have certain enjoyments just like us, like playing with toys. He enjoyed reading the picture books and the simple stories that were told, just like me. At that time I was still very young and was too naive to be judgmental. I knew he was a bit different from me, but not with me being better or worse than him. From that moment on, I learned to treat people equally no matter how many differences there are between us. No one deserves pain; nor does one deserve to be bullied for it. Someone is not necessarily better than another because they might be smarter, prettier, or stronger. In my eyes, we are all equal beings and have no advantage over each other. Being able to play with a kid who had capability challenges opened many doors of perspective and ultimately changed the way I look at people and life.