Dad was a Buddhist. Although he did not compel me to embrace Buddhism, I grew up reading the teachings of Buddha. The simplicity of the Four Noble Truths impressed upon me deeply, even now as a Christian. Buddha taught that desire is the root of all our sufferings.
For a time, I wondered if I could lead an austere life, one that is devoid of all the trappings. I attempted but obviously failed. There were so many things that I wanted to do and so many things that I wanted to possess.
Lately, similar grandeur thoughts have resurfaced again. In the attempt to make myself more mobile, I calculated the expenses required. At best, the car, modifications and an ultra-lightweight wheelchair will cost a bomb.
That was where the misery began. It is simply too expensive to even think about. I wished I can lead a simpler life but the environment in Malaysia is such that severely disabled persons are usually incarcerated in their own homes, unable to get out for the lack of assistance, barrier-free environment and accessible public transportation.
To get out, it is pertinent to have one’s own transport. The majority of us cannot afford it. We have a real need but do not have the means to resolve it. Buddha’s teachings notwithstanding, this is one desire that burns strong inside many of us.