to hear, to sign, or to speak

COMING towards the end of my Deafness awareness month, I believe I have just scratched the surface of some important issues in regards to Deafness.

Having read my previous posts – the introduction of belonging in a place called home, the Deaf people who sign in love language, and the Deaf people who talk in the gift of sound, you may now have a glimpse of what it’s like for them, trying to find a place where they belong.

While in a sense, our lives seem complicated, it is even much more complicated for them. We learn language and communication as if they are a package of life; they need to earn it. When we struggle to find our place in the world, imagine how they try to venture life as well.

So lessons learned.

Life will always be lived, with us trying to find that place where we belong. Each and every one of us will eventually venture that journey called ‘finding your identity’, and go home with one or an impaired one. With those living in two worlds, the journey may as well have more mazes and wrong turns – climbing up the hills of insecurity and swimming the channel of doubts. But we will get there. We need to get there. It’s a part of living.

And people will strive to communicate with each other. If one chooses to sign, she is not someone with a disability; she is not someone who needs to be fixed or taught how to speak. She is just communicating in another language of love. She feels belong to another community, even though it may not be the hearing world.

And while others choose to take one step closer with the technology in order to hear, and to speak – they, like all of us, are just trying to find their happiness. Trying to be normal is hard when the society has placed the social stigma of the word ‘dumb’ to ‘deaf’. Yet these people hear, although not as good as hearing people, and they can communicate their feelings. Deafness is a part of who they are; it’s not a separate thing – it’s just something extra.

While most of us are cramming for yet another test, trying to gain inspiration for yet another 2,000 word essay, and complaining about life in every way possible, some people out there are fighting to hear the shadow of a piece of music. While we are physically drained from our work, acting up to be polite to every customer who arrived, some people are dying to hear that “Hi, how are you?” sentence.

Think about that, when you next switched the volume of your iPod into full, or trying to distinguish your friend’s voice over a loud music.

Think about that, when you next see your grandmother or grandfather whose hearing has just deteriorated.

Think about that, when you next see a Deaf person, who is frustrated to get his opinion to be heard.

Think about all that, when you think about life.

you know, life is full of blessings, if you want to recognise them.

My name is Marcella Purnama. I am hearing, yet most of the time, I am deaf to the things that I need to hear most about.

“I LOVE LIVING. I think that’s infectious.”
– Will Smith


One thought on “to hear, to sign, or to speak

  1. A new study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging state that “Hearing Loss is now linked to may other health problems!” According to their studies, people with hearing loss are much more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This study goes on to state that “hearing loss left untreated can lead to loneliness, isolation and depression.”

    I have a very special “deaf friend” who tells me that driving a car is very frightening for him. He has to depend totally on his vision to be able to drive safely.

    If you have a hearing loss, don’t put off another minute. Do something right now to improve the quality of your lifestyle through “Better Hearing.”

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