KING BRAN THE BROKENINCRESE
One of the most followed series of all times just ended couple of months ago, Game of Thrones centered on the battle of power that surrounds the Iron Throne. The movie first presented the fearless Bran at age 11 with a dream to become a brave and fearless knight, and yes we all looked forward to seeing that. Until he accidentally walked in on something that was meant to be a secret and was pushed off from a high tower, a fall that was meant to claim his life and end his story.
After he came out of coma, his hope to become a knight was dashed by the unfortunate attempt on his life in a game of thrones, but paid the price with his legs and ability to reproduce. Most fans got disconnected with his character as our hope of seeing him become the bravest warrior in the Seven Kingdoms was dashed. In our naivety, we thought “it will be a waste to invest ones hope on a crippled boy to become a knight “. Such thought is a reflection of our perspective regarding possible outcome of these special individuals. We assume and conclude they’re helpless and hopeless, and we deprive them access to resources and opportunities with which they could self actualize.
After Bran’s fall from the tower, we all upped to the next most promising characters and persons, assuming and concluding that Bran’s disability was a limitation and a permanent road block to his dreams. But Brian kept pushing because “he had a dream to fly, and he knew he could”. Bran overcame his new limitations, embraced and accessed all his abilities in totality. His gradual acceptance of his seemingly-prophetic visions showed his growing maturity and his worth beyond the loss of his legs.
Even though there was a prophecy half way into the series, where Bran shared his fear of remaining on a spot for the rest of his life with the man in the wood, and the man replied him “No, you will fly and rule over men”. Our mind that has been programmed to underrate people with disabilities discarded such powerful revelation so swiftly. We must have unconsciously concluded that Bran was no match for any of the people competing for the throne.
With no sword, no army, no bloodshed, Bran the broken became the King of the seven kingdoms, because he refused to accept defeat, because he saw his disability not as a limitation but as an opportunity to discover his abilities. He achieved what others killed and got killed for, because he was loved and respected by all.
Total inclusivity cannot be achieved without government putting policies in place to empower persons living with disabilities in our communities. Like Bran, people with disabilities can self actualize with the right resources. Moreover, the society stands to gain a lot by assisting persons with disabilities to achieve maximum level of sustainable independence to enable them participate and contribute to the society.