I have a deaf schizophrenic brother that people were mean to when I was young. I couldn't understand why people would be mean to him because he was deaf. That translated into wanting to stop bullies being mean to...people, just because they are weak.American teacher and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams, founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, on what started her into global justice work. In a 2001 speech, she elaborated:
I'll tell you why I care. My brother was born deaf, he cannot hear a sound. My brother cannot speak. In adolescence he developed severe violent schizophrenia. He is 54 years old. My family has lived with severe disability my entire life. I have no doubt about the impact of disability on a family and a community.Williams turns 57 today. "When we began, we were just three people sitting in a room. It was utopia. None of us thought we would ever ban land mines. I never thought it would happen in just six years," she told the Boston Globe.
I live in the United States of America where there is some possibility to help the disabled. But let me tell you there's still a lot of gaps here, too. And when I think about that reality, and I think about the people here from the poorest countries in the world trying to live with disability, trying to provide for their families when they can barely manage on a daily basis, I care very deeply and very profoundly. I feel it in my bones because of my own experience.