That was my first impression when I saw some people just being ignorant seeing a blind girl trying to cross a main street in the city of Madison.
I took this bus with this young girl. I didn’t realize that she is blind until we got off from the bus. We crossed the street together. I just told her when the ‘WALK’ sign was on. At the end of street, she stopped and make a right turn. We went to a different direction. So, I decided to keep walking and stopped at a store to buy my lunch. When I was done, I saw this girl again, trying to cross the street, and she was helped by a man. He left after he informed her that it was a WALK sign. The traffic light for the pedestrian is actually equipped with the voice over so it comes in handy for the blinds. I walked and followed her from some distance. In fact, I was unsure what to do: whether to help her or not. I’m coming from a totally different cultural background, where handicaps are usually not (really) walking alone on the street (at least in the place I grew up). I was debating myself whether I should help her or just ignore her. I saw the people around, they just walked. Two things in my mind: They treat her like anybody else by giving her the agency to herself or they are just plain individualistic. After looking from some distance, I decided to walk together with her by first asking if she mind if I would be walking beside her, when she said no, I then asked where she wanted to go. As we walked, I was only giving her some directions a few times ” Keep going”, “go straight”. After a 15-minute walk, she said she was good. So, I decided to leave her while still keeping my eyes on her from some distance. It turned out that she was heading to a church right across the library I wanted to go. I told myself, “Ah, I should’ve just helped her from the bus stop”. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t treat her like anybody else…
Until this part, I have a little doubt of myself: What is the best way when one encounters this matter again? Help her? If by helping her, does it mean we don’t trust her or doesn’t treat her like any other people? or should I just walk away as she may have been doing it everyday? Ah, it may be a small stuff for others, but not for me. Humanity is really important. At least for me.
Dan emang dasar gue cengeng, gw malah nangis. Hebat perempuan ini. Gue dengan kondisi kayak gini aja masih ngeluh terus…..