Life, Love, and Passports

All men are created equal

That is what Thomas Jefferson thought anyway. Of course it would be great if this was truly the case. If you’ve been around just a bit it becomes quite apparent that this is most certainly not the case. It’s crazy to think that it is our fellow humans who feel the need to create some kind of hierarchy based on our various differences.

Over the weekend I had the privilege of meeting some of the South African paralympians at their home away from home venue in London. It was a truly wonderful opportunity. Later the athletes were addressed by the minister of sport and recreation Fikile Mbalula who thanked them for making South Africans so proud. Then he said something which truly blew my mind. He informed the athletes of his department’s decision to pay them what their Olympic counterparts were paid for achieving various medals. As it turned out the paralympians were going to receive just a quarter of the prize money. I was just so shocked to realise that somebody somewhere had decided that just because the athletes had some kind of physical deficit this meant they deserved less.

The Paralympics was really a great way to get people to see what you can achieve if you put your mind to a task. I’ve had some interesting conversations with my children with regard to disabilities and all I want from them in this regard is to be thoughtful and above all respect not just people with disabilities but all people.

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