We are a society of reactive people but that is not our fault. We each have our own cross to bear that blinds us to the needs of others who are less fortunate. Most times, we are caught up in the daily grind of trying to make ends meet, trying to meet deadlines, trying to keep our sanity intact. We have one thousand and one trivial chores in our minds that barely leave enough room for the essential and the genuinely important concerns that should capture our attention.
Following the news of the totally paralysed man in Hong Kong who had asked the legislators there to start a motion to legalise euthanasia yesterday, the Direction Association for the Handicapped (DAH) has initiated a fund raising drive to raise HK$5 million (RM2.4 million) to help him, identified by the media as Peng Chai. The news link is here.
The DAH is an organisation that serves the severely disabled people in Hong Kong. The amount raised will be used to acquire an electric-powered wheelchair and a portable respirator, both which would allow him a great amount of mobility and the luxury of going home, where two maids will be hired to look after him. For a man who has lived thirteen years of his life in a hospital bed, this progression will be freedom unparalleled.
On all accounts, Peng Chai is a courageous and thoughtful man. He did not want to burden his family. Only those who are nursing a family member who is totally and permanently paralysed will know the amount of mental pain and the intense labour that goes into the caring. To him, death was the only way out. To a caring society, his death wish was a slap in the face. More could have been done to help him, and that is exactly what they are doing now, only after the story was highlighted in the media. This should not be the case. Why now only after thirteen years? Still, it is never too late. I pray that Peng Chai will accept the offers of assistance and go on living. The quality of life should not be measured by health and physical abilities alone. It is the mind that makes all the difference.