Photo taken with my Chinese friends in Xiamen International Convention Centre
We all know that discrimination exists everywhere. Whether we are in developed countries, underdeveloped countries or developing countries, discrimination affects us in one way or another. A society without discrimination is a dream society.
It is bad enough to be discriminated by society but then to be discriminated by one's own family members is intolerable and inhumane. People with epilepsy (PWE) by and large face a lot of discrimination from family members as well as relatives and friends.
I was at an epilepsy congress in Xiamen last year and I had the opportunity to get to know new epileptic friends. For the three days I was in the congress I had noticed that China delegates, a big group of them, had kept to themselves and no delegates of other nationalities had approached or mingled with them. Sensing some elements of discrimination, I opened up myself to the China delegates.
Talking to the China delegates was the best thing I had done in the congress. They were such warm, pleasant, kind and friendly people. As soon as I apologised for my poorly spoken Chinese language, all barriers were broken free. Communication was free flowing from my Chinese friends. During and after our final night's dinner at the convention hall, my Chinese friends were crossing tables to my side to talk to me and my favourite part of the talking was listening to their epileptic stories.
Liu Xiao Ying from Shanghai had this to share with me.
Thanks a great lot for sending me our photos. These days, I have constantly been thinking about your questions. Yes, our Chinese PWE were too shy to talk to other delegates and merge into other groups. The English speaking delegates avoided us. My epileptic friends are confronted with more discrimination from the society, the people and even their own families. Social education regarding epilepsy is a tough job for our Chinese epilepsy self help group. We are all green hands and your experience can be helpful for us.
Xiao Ying Shanghai ""
Is it fair to discriminate PWE for having a condition that they did not ask to have? Whenever, you look down or discriminate a person based on some shallow knowledge or the physical outlook of a person, it really means that you have to first see the speck of wood fray in your eyes before you begin to judge and discrimate others.
Respect and honour one another for God made all of us to be on par. No one is far more inferior than another. No one deserves and no one should.