When my younger sister and I were kids, we’d sometimes plug our ears to try and experience what it was like to be deaf or take turns covering our eyes and stumbling around “blind.”
We never did fully appreciate either experience, of course, and even today I marvel at how brave it must be to go forth in the world without benefit of sight or sound.
Today, as I sat in the airport lobby having a coffee, a young man in his early twenties wearing baggy ready-to-fall-off jeans and a grimy yellow backpack dropped a folded page on my café table then did the same at the nearby tables.
The page said, “Hello! I am a deaf person. I am selling this Deaf Education System Card to make a living to support my family. Would you kindly buy one? Pay any price you wish. Thank you!”
You’ve probably been handed similar pamphlets at one time or another.
When you open them up, there are illustrations for the American sign language alphabet and a selection of words like “please,” “thank you,” “I love you,” and others.
I think you know what happened next. He returned to the same tables and a few people “paid” him for the pamphlet, others handed it back.
I know some people question whether or not these pamphlet people are really deaf. My take on this is, even if they’re not – what a way to make a living.
So I did “buy” the pamphlet and so far have learned the signs for “thank you” and “I love you.”
Next up, “friend,” which I’d like to send out to all of you….