Friends with Mentally Challenged?

South Africa
March 29, 2007 4:48am CST
Have any of you being to a mentally challenged institution for a visit? I have been and it really was an eye-opener for me. From getting there my personal space was totally non-existent as patients would tug at my arm, touch my face, talk all at once, and everyone wants to show you their most prized possession. It was my first time there and it really made me realise how love-deprived they all are. Most of them were adults but they were all treated as children, because of their mental capabilities. I was building puzzles with one sweet lady who was very shy. She asked me if I wanted to have some tea and I said yes (because they don't take rejection very well - some extreme cases might even get violent). She was watching me closely while I was drinking it, forgetting about her favourite pastime - puzzles. After finishing the tea I told her that it was very nice and she kepton asking me if I really enjoyed it; to confirm the confirmation. I could she that she was really feeling very, very good about that. I know most of the time ppl don't have time for the mentally retarded, because ppl feel that they are mostly in the way, slow, stupid, or even an embarrassment to society. But why did God allow them their time in the sun? Surely not because it was a waste of time to create them? What's your opinion? Do you have similar experiences, or even friends or family with mental retardation?
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