Recently i have been fortunate enough to make a new friend, very sweet, slightly naive and with an almost childlike endearing quality to him and i admit i have enjoyed pinging emails back and forth. It is unlikely we would ever meet being at opposite ends of the country but still a friendship nonetheless. But today i was surprised to find an email, almost a confession saying there was something he needed to tell me that he’d been keeping from me. Hmmmm well i cant tell you the hundreds of cynical thoughts that ran through my head, i’ve had experience of these kind of messages before and waited curiously for the announcement to arrive. When it did i found i had to read it twice and it was far from what i had expected and being honest it saddened me greatly. My new friend informed me that he was actually deaf, hastening to add he could hear with hearing aids and could speak clearly but was really hoping this would not put me off from wanting to be friends with him. I think perhaps deep down he sensed enough from me to know this would not for i believe he wouldn’t have told me knowing himself sure of a bad reception but i still found this such a telling statement. Clearly he had been on the receiving end of enough prejudice to make him wary and this in itself upset me for having much experience of various disabilities i cannot see how people fail to realise that these things do not make anyone less of a person nor worthy off less regard than anyone else.Such a shame he felt he had to leap to his own defence and issue assurances to make himself acceptable to anyone else. I still marvel at the human races treatment of each other and cannot comprehend being the kind of person who could care and empathise so little as to belittle the afflicted. And as i rushed off an email reassuring that this did not matter to me at all i felt a little touched that he had felt safe enough to confide in me and yet again i find myself drawn to care of those with learning difficulties. Maybe i’ve found my vocation after all and just couldnt see it.