Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The End of a Ten Year Long Chapter in my Life



The Promise of  Ends

“Good and bad fruit die,

Joy follows sorrow. Life, death,,

Ends have beginnings.  “




I had time to reflect on these realities of life last week as I formally  submitted my resignation from my current position of assistant research manager which  I occupied in the local disability sector. I admit that I spent over ayear thinking about resigning from my job. However, I confess that I was still relatively happy and comfortable with the work I was doing in the field.


The fact that I was a disabled person meant that I am aware that it’s difficult to find a new job if I left this one. 


Moreover, given that many employers still had poor expectations of disabled people meant that I would be always at a disadvantage.. 


Indeed, in spite of the qualifications I have been awarded over the years, misconceptions abound. What’s more, a large number of disabled people may really have no educational credentials to present prospective employers. Here, it must be said this is often the fault of a past educational system where disabled people were sent off to special schools and it might be symptomatic of an educational system that fails to prepare disabled children for their future as adults.  


Disabled people who find themselves under-qualified are often  the product of an educational system that has  failed them.    




Putting these considerations aside, I must also say that my relationship with the National Commission Persons with Disability  (KNPD) [which was the organisation I was  employed with], goes way back to 2003 when, in addition to my severe physical impairment, I was developing a profound visual impairment which would affect me for the rest of my life.


Indeed, my initial involvement with KNPD since my first contact in 2003 would transform the way I viewed myself as a disabled person. I changed from being a shy disabled youth who resisted being called “disabled” or being seen in the company of disabled people to a rebellious, and perhaps, and militant disabled person.


 For the first time, I understood that claiming to be a disabled person was a political statement affirming that many of the problems we faced in society weren’t due to the fact we had impairments but simply because society failed to take our differences into account.. 


 All this would lead me to become a vocal disability activist and, I hope, an active contributor in making my country more equal and inclusive of disabled people and others who still remain socially excluded or disadvantaged. 


Yes, I admit that I committed some mistakes in my early days as a disability activist, such as adopting an extreme position on the disability issue. However, I was committed to the cause of making our world a more inclusive world for everyone while respecting and keeping in mind our differences as persons.  




Eventually, I would choose to further my studies in the area of disability by completing a masters in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds During this period, I . I felt at home as I felt I  had returned home to  academia, where I felt free to expand and express who I was. It was a time     which brought back many memories of the time I was a student reading, that time, for a Honours degree in English at the University of Malta.


 Yes, I admit that I always  enjoy learning which might explain why, in spite of leaving KNPD, I still lecture part time in a fresh Masters degree In Disability Studies being taught at the University of Malta. But, I digress… After graduating from Leeds, I applied for a job at KNPD and, when all the candidates were interviewed, I was notified that I was selected to start work.


My first day at KNPD, I remember, was the 14th February of 2007, and yes it was  Saint Valentine’s Day of that year.


From that day on, I started doing a lot of work ranging from preparing research papers, writing article pieces for local and international publications. I also continued delivering talks to various institutions on disability issues, which I had started around 2003.


Part of my work was to raise awareness and educate the public on disability issues included  delivering talks called Disability Equality Training and Disability Awareness Training (DAT)   aimed at providing the public with an accurate picture of disability and raise awareness about the barriers we face in society as disabled people with DET talks mainly focusing on the legal obligation of those delivering services to the public to be aware of the Equal Opportunities Act (Cap 413) and how to implement the act in practice..


In this sense, I can say that my involvement with KNPD started off from the time I had my first contact with KNPD in 2003 for which I was also doing voluntary work as I was learning to adapt to my visual impairment, a new addition to my list of impairments; to the  day I was formally employed in 2007.  




Yes, a decade has passed. I have many fond memories of these years and some painful ones as well. I was going through many changes at once. I had become a disability activist and, yes, I  was - In some ways - an “extremist”.


Back then. I have met great people and it was the time I felt at ease with my body and my impairments. In fact, if I  hadn’t  acquired my impairments, I would have missed to meet all the wonderful individuals, genuine human beings, who really believe in what they’re doing. I confess that if it hadn’t been for KNPD and the people who worked there, I’d probably end up falling into a state of  depression and despondency or worse.


Indeed, the people working there gave me a new purpose to go on and built my self-confidence and trust. While this entry, however long, can’t possibly do justice to the past, I still wanted to write it to remind myself of the gifts that KNPD has given me and to pay tribute to the people I met, who often work in silent and whom are often misunderstood and misrepresented. 


I think that I need to conclude this entry. Yes, it was a brief stroll down memory lane but it’s unhealthy to wallow in nostalgia. The past is no longer here and trying to revive the past too much risks stalling any progress we should be making. It also distracts us from enjoying the gifts of life the present gives us right this moment. All things must end but this needs not be a tragedy. I guess that this is the main message I wanted to convey through this entry.


The 10 years that I spent between doing voluntary work and paid work were, on the whole, pleasant. However, this isn’t saying that it was always full of moments of joy and successes. It was also a time of sorrow and failures. It’s this realisation that prompted me to write the haiku you found at the start. For, while we may despise change or mourn the ending of the life we knew, it is sometimes this end that offers us the possibility of growth and renewal:.


“Every beginning has an ending. Every life will one day end. This is death. Our lives must change and will keep changing.”




Every beginning has an ending. My journey and every human life  cannot stop from changing. Change is necessary for growth and maturity. A person who doesn’t change or grow is a corpse, a dead person. I have  grown, I hope, from that twenty year old who had just left university and adapting to his visual impairment. I have also come to change how I viewed myself as a disabled person over this decade. I have gradually adopted a spiritual understanding that departed from the Roman Catholic faith that I was brought up with. 


A spiritual awakening that led me to adopt Buddhism, a non-theistic but very humanist value system that resonates with who I really was - as a human being  like any one else - equal, yet different.


Here I cannot deny that my spiritual transformation, if you may, hasn’t changed the way I look at life and my attitude and behaviour  towards others. I can honestly say that even if I remain committed to the cause of disability activism, I see my struggle in the wider context of humanity. 


I seek to understand those who adamantly persist in their ignorance and try to approach their views  not from the position of an enemy but as a human being who is genuinely interested to know the seeds of their enmity.


I clearly understand that our struggle, as disabled people, cannot occur without the recognition that our struggle must be won through the cooperation with other groups of people who are treated unequally by an often unjust society.


Today, I have also come to an understanding that any struggle for equality cannot occur without the participation of, in our case, non-disabled people. At the same time, I firmly believe that, inasmuch the contribution of our non-disabled allies is fundamental, it is us - disabled people - who must be in the forefront to achieve true equality for all. I’m afraid that past history has shown that the tendency is that a few  non-disabled people have exploited this worthy cause to promote their own careers and reputation with disabled people ending as case studies in some  academic report or publication..   


Similarly, women can never achieve equality without cooperating with men, gay people and straight people must live together and so on and forth. having said that, while men in the case of women’s rights must be included in any discussion on the subject, it would be a farce if women, or any group whom the issue directly affects to be left out or given little say in the discussion and decision-making process.    


Of course, the truth remains that, as long as we live together on this planet, we all need each other - we are co-dependent. I believe that this fact of our co-dependence demands of us that we always attempt to reach the middle ground and, when possible, achieve a mutually agreed compromise.



I come to an end of this long entry. After this entry reaches you, I fear how you might interpret it and what idea of me you’ll construct In your mind. I would be rather disappointed with what I have written if you conclude that I am an inspiration… That I overcame my impairments…achieved success in spite of my impairments… blah blah.


Just understand this: it is my impairments who made me who I am today. There are times when I rather could walk or see as I did when I was younger and stronger but this is life not a a heartwarming or tear jerking Christmas tale. 


I am no inspiration but I decided to live and adapt to my differences. I am just answering the call of the survival instinct. It was that or social suicide and a life of wanting and loathing myself and others. I am here today because of the many people in my life who believed in me and, ironically, those who didn’t and who pushed me to challenge myself. I am not the  self-made person which one may think I am.  I am strong but can be weak. 


If it hadn’t been for the support of others whom I found on this journey, disabled and non-disabled people alike, I might not be here today.


It appears that there was a lot I needed to say. I look forward  to the future but I realise that it’s now that I need to change and take greater control and responsibility over my life. 




I will continue to contribute to the local disability sector, yes, but using a different approach. I  also reassure my students reading for their Masters In Disability Studies that I will continue my lecturing part-time. At the same time, I wish to pursue new possibilities that that the present world offers. 


Indeed, I am already pursuing my childhood dream of dedicating my time and energy to writing. I have already invested much of my free time since I was a child in the craft of writing but, it appeared, that society doesn’t consider writing to be a proper job. Even if I was discouraged over the years of pursuing the art of writing, I never stopped writing when I could


I feel that the current situation and the fact that technology offers me the real possibility of getting my work out to the world, compels me to venture into the world of self-publishing. I may not be successful in my attempt to publish a few of my ePubs but I really have nothing to lose at this stage. I only want to express and share my thoughts and experiences with others around the world. Many might not listen. But, I hope few will.


On that note, I end with the haiku I started with in the beginning. For, although this entry will also end, it’s ending also signifies the beginning of a new one. Ten years are a long time in a person’s life, but they end too. I may mourn the death of this decade, but to resist change is suicide. I must be open to what the now offers. For, ultimately, the now is what defines and shapes our futures. These are the promises of ends: 


The Promise of  Ends

“Good and bad fruit die,

Joy follows sorrow. Life, death,,

Ends have beginnings.  “


With those verses, I leave you and wish to thank you for hanging on to the end of this long entry. As for me, I prepare to open a new chapter in my book of life where the future starts from now on!!  


More about my ePubs...

> Check out the Haiku Flow Series Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 and my profile and  other of my electronic publications at my eBooks page at PayHip:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gordon's D-Zone: The Last Entry

A few minutes ago, I formally announced that I have decided to archive my blog Gordon’s D-Zone. In this post simply entitled “The Last Entry” reproduced above, I explain why I have taken this decision and thanked all those who have supported this blog since its inception in August 2006.
The Last Entry

In my last 2013 Round Up posted on my main site, I announced that I was seriously considering archiving Gordon’s D-Zone. This basically means that while the entries that were posted prior to 2014 can still be accessed but I wouldn’t be adding any fresh content from that point on.
After weighing the pros and cons of archiving Gordon’s D-Zone, I came to a hard choice. I decided to archive this blog and stop adding new entries and keeping it online for the benefit  of  readers who stumble upon this blog and who may find some of the entries useful. I also plan to delete any old entries of poorer quality. . Other reasons forced me to take this step. However, suffice it to say that, at this point in my life, I wish to explore new approaches of doing disability activism. 
Looking back, I realise that Gordon’s D-Zone has been the first blog I created. It all began on Monday, 28 August of 2006 with the rather unoriginal title “A New Blog is Born…”. There are many memories that come back as I write this which was a period of my life when I was just learning how to use my computer using a screen reader following my deteriorating vision. Yes, I admit that it was both a scary part of my life but also one with opened up new doors and opportunities.
Yet, all good things come to an end. At least, writing on this blog than I would in later years was a good one. I learned more about myself and was happy to share my experience of living with impairments in a disabled world with many others. A view that went beyond the overt sentimentality that often accompanied stories such as my own. I wanted to make it clear that my life wasn’t tragic but neither that exceptional or even “special”. 
I wanted to raise awareness of the fact that, apart from the physical pain I had at times, most of the barriers I faced were created by a society which refused to include me or understand that I was fully entitled to the same rights and opportunities. I also wanted to explain to readers that I was willing to take up responsibility over my own life and actions but the terms had to be reasonable and inclusive as well.
However,at this point in my life,, I wish to pursue other ways. I seek to continue developing my writing skills and expand my self-knowledge through contributing on my site ZoneMind and flex  my creative muscle through the writing of haikus that I post on HaikuFlow.
Of course, one could ask whether I could do all this and maintain Gordon’s D-Zone? Yes this would have been possible only if things had been rather  different. On the other hand, things are different today. Indeed, I don’t feel that I have the energy I had before and I want to preserve the strength in my writing I’m doing on my other sites.
I have chosen to pursue my other interests and explore fresh approaches where I can perform disability activism. An approach where I can reach out to others as just another human being. This, in no way, will undermine my convictions in the values of inclusion and equality for all, including disabled people like myself.
Rather this path I wish to follow is a way I can reclaim my humanity which has often been denied to me and to others in my situation.
On that note, I wish to thank all of those who have followed this blog and the few who contributed to the discussion. I also hope that those who find my blog after this last entry will find some entries here to be useful and food for thought.
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Sunday, January 05, 2014 2013 Round Up

Hi there!

I'm writing this on the first  week of 2014. Unfortunately, in a sense, I have not had the time to update this site since last July as I've been busy launching a new site - that apart from my work and leisure time. 

However, since I found some free time on my hand, I thought it would be a good idea to post a list of all the entries I posted on my blogs that I update fairly regularly. Yes, this will be probably a long post. I'll tell you about my new blog as soon as I finish updating you with all that happened on my blogs in 2013. So, hang on out there.



Gordon's D-Zone


I have managed to add just 9 entries this year which, yes, is poor compared to previous years - especially when I realize that this was my first online blog!


In my defence, the 2013 entries linked above tend to be longer and more detailed. Even if I'm unsure whether I'll keep posting on this blog in 2014, I will try to keep it for archival purposes at least.


Having said that, here are the 9 entries for 2013 in reverse chronological order: 


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

International Disabled People's Day 2013: A Few Thoughts...


Another year is almost over. just a few days left to the celebration of Christmas, and another New Year. Once again, we celebrate International Disabled People’s Day.. 


Friday, July 19, 2013

Open Your Eyes: Escape from the Land of the Blind!


You might have heard the saying: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king…”


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Is Virtue Its Own Reward? Reflections on the Real Price and Value of Kindness...


I want to be part of society. However, society must recognise my difference. Unfortunately, in spite of any rhetoric promoting inclusion, those who hold themselves to be the ‘norm’ persist…



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Goals of Inclusive Education (Newspaper Article)


Do you agree that disabled children should be included in mainstream schools? My guess is that many of you have answered “yes” to that question…


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Scribblings of a Disabled Worker at the End of Worker's Day


The day celebrated as Worker’s Day (May 1) in this part of the world is coming to an end already. I find that I am now rested as I took it easy today. I needed to rest and this week was…


Monday, April 08, 2013

My Special, Differently-Abled Challenged Sort of Life...


I’ve been called many things in my life when people wanted to refer to the fact I had a physical impairment, way long before I acquired my visual impairment…


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Inclusive World We Want for 2015


It’s important that the move towards creating an inclusive world is inclusive of disabled people from the start. While there may be action that is particular to people who have a specific impairment, the overall objective underpinning an inclusive world should be mainstreaming and not segregated services…


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dumbification: Why Dumbo Isn’t My Role Model!


I thought of writing an entry on the ‘flying elephant’ Jumbo Junior, ironically known more by the nickname Disney ascribed to him, Dumbo. I am not sure if it’s because after I do my work…



Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Right to Secrecy Denied: Disabled People and the Secret Vote


Excuse me, MsJustice... Could you kindly tell me how you're voting? No secret vote for you - You're blind, you see…









In contrast to my activity on Gordon’s D-Zone, ZoneMind has remained the most active blog this year as it was in 2012. In fact, this year alone, I have added 36 new entries which is a bit less than the entries posted in 2012. 


Once again, above please find the entries for 2013 in reverse chronological order:


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Holiday Meditation on Peace, Happiness and Compassion


I know that many of you may be busy this holiday season. I am sure that many of you are busy visiting family and friends. I'm writing this on December 25, so I assume that you have already exchanged your gifts with your family and loved ones.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Go Well, Madiba…


I was listening to Nelson Mandela’s funeral service , also known by his tribal name, "Madiba". As I listened to the BBC broadcast, I felt something touched me deep inside…


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Forever Young


When we start getting older, we start longing for the times when we were younger and healthier than we are today. Especially, when you realise that you have changed a lot since your childhood and when you know that those times will never come back.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In Life, We Are Alone: Reflections On Living


Many of us are living a life where we’re always connected with the rest of the world. We also tend to be constantly on the go during work and even during our free time…


Friday, November 8, 2013

32 Years as an Earthling


Back in 1981, a baby boy was born like many others at about noon, November 8. There was nothing particularly special or auspicious about this boy…  .


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sinister Eyes in the Sky...


In the past, when people lived in times when pthey tended to be more superstitious,, many believed that the gods above could strike you with lightning... 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Living Out of Control


If you think about it, we are living a life that is out of our control. Indeed, while we may believe that we have enormous choice and the freedom that we assume comes with it if we earn a decent wage. Yet, even if we don't make a lot of money, we still believe we have a lot of choice about many of the things we have in life... 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where were you on September 11?


Today, the world remembers the terrible events that took place in New York. More exactly, we are invited to spare a minute for the many innocent lives lost to the terrorist acts of a terrorist organisation we now know is called Al Qaeda. I have shared my thoughts and reflections on this tragic event 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Day of Victory: Whose Victory Is It Anyway?


I've pondered on war and the consequences of violent conflict since we started hearing of the escalating violence in Syria. Yet, I considered writing about war and violence in earnest since in Malta, we celebrate Victory Day today, the 8th September....


Monday, September 2, 2013

Opening to The Intimacy of the Soul


I come to write again after taking time to consider where my life is leading to. I admit, I am still confused about the direction I want to follow in life. I regret that the things that appeared to be of absolute importance to my happiness have become perhaps less important to me at this point in my life.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What Can We Do? A Meditation on Action


Life changes. That's a fact we all know but people seldom think about. Every day is unique but in our fast moving world, we have created the illusion that there's such a thing as a "normal" week that includes a period of rest we call the weekend...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Meditation on Forgetting


I must confess that I have forgotten  to write an entry on the occasion of HH Dalai Lama which I started doing when I started this site. I have already written extensively about how indebted I am to HH 14th Dalai Lama for opening my mind to a fresh understanding of life and reality. I find that I feel… 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

ZoneMind: A Day of Shame - Identity, Indifference & Humanity (Full Series)


This July was a time I felt that I had to re-evaluate who I was and to reflect on my position on this Earth and wonder once again on where I belonged. I decided to leave FaceBookas I was growing concerned that, in spite of all the good things it offered me, I found myself too dependent on it and sometimes felt I had to project an identity that pleased the public... 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Is there life after FaceBook?


Last week, I took what seemed, at first, to be a difficult decision. I de-activated my FaceBook account. Even if I can re-activate my account within a time window, it’s unlikely for me to return. I admit that I was pretty…


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Is Virtue Its Own Reward? Reflections on the Real Price and Value of Kindness...


I want to be part of society. However, society must recognise my difference. Unfortunately, in spite of any rhetoric promoting inclusion, those who hold themselves to be the ‘norm’ persist in creating barriers that prevent us from…


Sunday, June 16, 2013

On Father...


Today, in this part of the world, we celebrate Father’s Day. I wanted to share some reflections on this day. I admit that I believe it’s rather artificial to pretend that this particular day is set apart for fathers…  


 Sunday, June 9, 2013

Burying the Self


I am. ... Can I proceed and add more to that sentence without risking becoming someone that is really not who I am. Apart from that, aren’t the words “I am” already presenting a lot as these two words attempt to capture an idea that can only be poorly represented using language…  


Friday, May 17, 2013

An Elusive Silence


I find it difficult to find moments of complete silence in today's wold. I remember that as a child, I could find a place at home or when I'm outside…


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Meditations on Mother's Day



Mothers of all time,

Now, you made us who we are... 

You've given us life…  


Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Call of the Phoenix


A few days after Easter this year, I was inspired to write another haiku trio I called “The Phoenix”. There were many reasons why I chose to write this haiku trio. The trio itself deals with the inevitability of death and seeks…


Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Secular Easter, An Empty Tomb and a Dead God: A Long Easter Meditation


I have been struggling to gather my thoughts and ideas before daring to write this entry. I had planned to have something ready on Easter Sunday which would made this entry topical and current. Today, a week has already passed…    


Friday, April 5, 2013

Is this the begining of the end of human civilisation?


This morning, I heard that North Korea appears to be arming itself for battle. At the point of writing, I don't think we should panic. However, I believe the international community should be more concerned than it has appeared to be so far. The threat of North Korea to use nuclear weapons on other countries is too horrifying to contemplate… 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Failing in Spite of Trying!


I tried for a second time to get out of bed with the little strength I’ve got left following the long time I’ve been spending in bed. Of course, it could be much worse. I haven’t totally been cut off from society. With all its criticisms, technology has enabled me to keep in touch with the world.


Friday, March 8, 2013

The Day of Reflection


Over here in Malta, we’ll be having the elections tomorrow - the 9th March 2013. An event that normally happens every five years. It’s a time when we will have a chance to have a say in the running of our country. Yet, we often…


 Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Refuge of Silence


As the days pass by, little seems to have changed since I was discharged from hospital. Thankfully, my pain has gradually decreased and while I still need more days of bed rest, if things go well, I should be on ny way to a good…


Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Sunset of Promise


I continue struggling with the physical pain that has forced me into hospital two weeks ago. Thankfully, my pain wasn't that severe today but it's still early days and there can be good or bad days - depending on whether I wake up… 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Thing Called Pain


I've been experiencing a sense of pain for over a week. At times, it's as if it won't go away. A thought that I have even when I know nothing in this universe lasts forever...


Monday, January 21, 2013

A Violent Awakening


Last Wednesday, I was admitted to the state hospital soon after I finished breakfast or about twenty minutes. Or so dad would tell me. Apparently, I threw up and lost consciousness. I would wake up again at the emergency…


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pain - Teach Me Life


I'm in pain once again. It's my back and legs now as well. It's hard and I struggle to type this entry in my present condition. So, I'll limit myself to a few reflections… 


Monday, January 7, 2013

On the Dawn of a New Day


I find myself writing this early in the morning of another Monday. The first day of the week. The second week of the new year. All this appears to promise a fresh start to life. But there's no guarantee that life will deliver us…


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The True Meaning of Charity (3 part series))


Each year, during this time, I feel a feeling of unease and inadequacy as charity events aimed at collecting funds to help the most needy and, alas, “less fortunate” amongst us. I feel this sense that, as a person, I am somehow less than my friends, family and other human…  



Haiku Flow



This blog which contains a growing collection of haiku - verse based on the Japanese style of poetry (but in English) is going strong since I created it.


Usually not longer than 3 lines of verse, I think I believe that I’ve almost mastered the skill of composing haiku. But, judge for yourself as you read the haiku I posted in 2013:


Haiku 2013 collection     


My New Site!

logo for the Zone Mind ePub page



Zone Mind ePub



Now, let me tell you one of the reasons that I haven't been so active these last months. Last September (2013), I had received the happy news that my eBook "Zone Mind" was ready for distribution. 


So, besides recording some promotional clips, I also worked on launching the site where you can find audio-visual content, a more detailed look at what this eBook is about, leave your comments or feedback and try out a sample before you decide to get the whole eBook.


The site is up and running - even if I may be adding new content in the future. Currently, the eBook is available in both the ePub and PDF versions. And, if I say so myself, the site looks pretty good!


But don't just take my word for it, go and check it out yourself at:


All the best for 2014!




You can also follow me on Twitter!

My twitter user name is @gordonGT



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About Me

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I love blogging for the very same reason I love writing. It gives me the opportunity to express myself and my ideas to others. Yet, the great thing about blogs are their potential to reach out to people across the world. Blogging is also a means where I can explore thoughts and ideas, express my creativity and better examine who I am. As a disabled person, blogs are also tool to raise awareness about how society excludes us as disabled people through its failure to take us into account. Besides disability activism, I also enjoy creative writing and to read about a wide range of topics, ranging from science to philosophy which I also explore in my blogs.. I dream of a world that includes everyone, irrespective of our differences. A world where people have true equal rights and opportunities. A world where everyone is given the means to succeed and attain his/her full potential.