I was recently spending an evening with a retired Army officer who became physically disabled during active service. He lost both his legs during the operations at Bangla Desh and has been living with artificial limbs ever since. As I was talking to him, another friend joined us. We fell into some pleasant reveries when the friend suddenly asked the Army officer how it felt to be without the two legs. The army officer replied “I like to concentrate on what I have and not what I don’t have” That was a moment of truth for me. How naïve we are to think that we are not handicapped just because we have all our physical faculties in tact! As long as we are not able to tap our physical and mental resources in full, all of us are handicapped. An able-bodied man proving himself to be a great nuisance to society is also a handicapped person. He makes the whole society lame and cripple by his activities. Coming back to what the Army officer was saying, all of us have the impulsive habit of brooding over what we don’t have instead of concentrating on what we have. As an extension of this habit, when we look at a physically handicapped person, we tend to look at his missing hands or missing legs but fail to notice how well he uses his other faculties. When we meet a mentally challenged person, we feel sorry for him but go and behave as peculiarly elsewhere little realising that by such an exhibition, we may ourselves be earning similar sympathy. As a corollary, we always tend to bring up our children by forcing them to develop what they don’t have rather than encouraging them to pursue what they like most. Consider this for a moment. If Mrs. Viswanathan had severely chided her son for wasting his time on chess instead of reading his geography lessons, warning him that she would have no alternative but to consign the chess board and the paraphernalia to the waste paper basket if he persisted, Anand might have become one of those Section Officers who get lost behind the mountains of papers in a Government office. Or for that matter, if Mrs.Tendulkar had threatened her son that she would not only break his bat but his hand as well if she saw him carrying the damn thing in again, Sachin wouldn’t have broken cricket records. They became legends because their mothers had the good sense to give their children full freedom to develop their skills instead of forcing them to do something in which the children had no interest. All of us are disabled in some form or other. Some of us are aware of it too. It is prudent to concentrate on our strengths than to feel unhappy about our weaknesses. The condescending attitude that we display towards the handicapped is perhaps only to hide our own handicap. What the handicapped require is not our sympathy for what they do not have but our recognition of what they have.