Saturday, May 12, 2007

Just a random observance

It's the time of year when Parliament Hill is increasingly full of tour groups and visitors and people who just want to spend some time on a nice, big, sunny lawn. Yesterday, as I was walking up towards Centre Block, I had to pass through a large group of people 'speaking' to one another in sign language.

There were probably about 50 or 60 of them. I don't know why they were there. It didn't seem to be a demonstration of any kind. Mostly it just looked like any other group, except quieter and with a lot of hands waving around and making interesting shapes. And I don't know why it made me feel happy, but it did.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

not surprised you work for Dion, you are clueless. They had signs part of a nation wide protest about schooling for the deaf. And it made you feel happy.
How nice.

Steve Marsh said...

Always happy to have judgmental commentators post their remarks without the courage to identify themselves. It must be tough being so much smarter than other people.

There may well have been a demonstration earlier in the day, but at the time I was walking through there were no longer any signs of it.

I am, actually, pretty clueless about the real needs of hearing impaired people in Canada. It's not a policy area I've been directly involved with. That said, I don't doubt that, like most marginalized groups, the availability of appropriate services and supports is less that what's needed and they could use more government support.

But my emotional response to the scene yesterday had nothing really to do with politics or policy. I just liked the image of a group of people using sign language with each other.

Maybe it's because sign language is sort of a sign of human adaptability and resilience. Maybe I was just a little envious about so many people in one place who can do something I can't and have always wanted to learn. Maybe it's simply that I appreciate living in a place where everyone isn't the same and where we (most of us, anyway) value diversity.

Or any combination of these things. Plus, it doesn't take much to make me smile on sunny spring afternoons.