Sunday, November 29, 2009

For the Mind and the Soul

The KL Children's Choir's Triple Bill

The great thing about children's singing is that it never sounds bad. Throughout my years I've heard a lot - none was really good, technically speaking, but none awful either. Factor in the sheer slight age, the (generally) angelic faces and voices reeking of purity and innocence, no song sung by a child would be called anything but wonderful. Thus, I went for this children's choir production knowing I wouldn't be disappointed with whatever they presented.

I was right. The children were simply delightful, and the music entertaining. It amazed me that children as young as 4 years could be so calm and poised on stage, singing their hearts out, some dancing at the same time. This was my first time at a musical production presented wholly by children and young teens, and although not vocally incredible, it was still a great feat. Looking at the very young decked out in colourful costumes, with smiles on their faces, listening to them - what cares do I have in the world? It was a truly enjoyable performance and if I actually paid for the tickets, I would say it was worth the money.

Alexander! featuring some of the youngest members of KLCC

OKU Convoy 2009 Volunteers' Training

Training is necessary for non-experienced volunteers for this event which I wrote about earlier, so, one was organized today, at the Pasar Seni Putra LRT station. The event briefing and wheelchair-handling demonstration were enlightening, to say the least. I'd long known and seen with my own eyes that the disabled can be very independent should they choose to be, but seeing so many on wheelchairs making their way around as easily as those who could walk, and talking about their disabilities in heartbreaking light-heartedness was something totally new to me. Impressive and touching as they were, the strong determination of our disabled friends and the profound compassion of the veteran volunteers, I mean to write about something else I observed.

Sprawled on the floor at the foot of the stairs and elevator leading to the train platform was a middle-aged beggar. He looked mildy disabled - one leg was shorter and shrivelled - but otherwise, fine. I didn't notice him at first, but I suppose he was there, watching us the whole time when the briefing and demos took place. When the entire group, including our enabled disabled friends, moved towards to escalator to demonstrate how a wheelchair-bound person could travel up it, he found himself in the way. The most amazing thing happened then - the supposedly unable-to-walk beggar got up on his one good leg, and supported by his less-good leg, limped rather nimbly to the side. Apart from the obvious limp, he was a physically able as any of the volunteers present.

One just needs to take a look from the almost-fully-abled beggar to the wheelchair-bound, some limp from various forms of palsy, muscular or nervous (I am not so knowledgeable in this matter, as yet), moving about independently, playing active roles and taking on leadership in an event meant in part to raise awareness to their potential independence, to make one think. So, what's his excuse?

It'll probably be a question I'll ask myself from time to time: What's my excuse? What's yours?

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