Me: "No dear, I wanted to help a person I know who looked lost yesterday and he scratched me on my wrist when I approached him. "
小tz: "Daddy, is the person like the people you looked after in your office? "
Me: "Yes dear. "
小tz: "This will not happen in your office right? "
Me: "No. It may happen in my office too. Sometimes we get urgent request to look after people when their family is going through difficult time. Being put in an unfamiliar place, away from their families and not having enough time for us to get to know them better, it is possible for them to scream and cry for days. At times, resulting from fear and in an attempt to protect themselves, they may also start attacking unfamiliar people who suddenly appeared in their life. "
小tz: "Daddy, if they attack others then they are really naughty right? "
Me: "No la, while they may look older than you, they can only think like when you were 2 years old. When you were 2 years old, can you understanding everything I say now and everything that is happening around you? "
小tz: "No, daddy. But why they can only think like when I was 2 years old? "
Me: "Because they were born that way or have an illness that damaged their brain. It is daddy's job to look after them and teach them to be able to do everything on their own. 小tz, not everybody is as fortunate as you. A lot of people don't have daddy, mummy and grandma like you. "
小tz: "Ok daddy. But why do you have to talk to them? I thought you are the boss, people work for you and your job is to write emails and papers?
Me: "小tz, the company doesn't belong to daddy. They were daddy's colleagues and we worked as a team. We are just doing different jobs. Daddy's job on top of writing email and paper, is also to lead the team and help my colleagues with their job. To lead means to be in front and help my colleagues with the problems they faced. Anyway, it's bad to think that the boss just tell others to do work without helping and teaching them how to do the work. "
小tz: "Ok daddy."
This was probably a little too heavy for 小tz to know about intellectual disability and the right approach towards leadership. I tried to use simple terms to relate to her on my thoughts but I am not sure how much she can understand. I am amazed by how much 小tz knows about me, about my job and my frequent need to write emails and papers. It goes to show how much she had been observing and checking on me. So who is observing and monitoring who now? Hmmm...
The conversation happened while I was standing next to 小tz, who sat next to a lady in the bus on our way home. When the lady got up to align, she turned and smiled to 小tz and I. She might have found our conversation interesting, or she might have the "You very the can, not sure how much your daughter will understand. " look. Haha...
Well, at least another public might have a better understanding on person with intellectual disability and the challenges they faced. Just like the jar of pencils, highlighters, pens and cutter, each have their uses, limitations and characteristic. The jar, like the public and a leader, need to support the pencils, highlighters, pens and cutter, yet giving them adequate space to have freedom of choices and opportunities to display their uses.