Reflections on worth

Worthless? Worth less? Passionless?

Recently as part of my early journeys as President of my local Rotary club, I have been privileged to be invited to a number of meetings of local community facilities which our club supports. 

As I was at these facilities and also as I later read some case studies of people striken with polio I began to reflect on the questions – why do some people consider these to be worthless human beings?  If not worthless, then why worth less?  I reflected further – surely passion knows no boundaries?

The moments which made me reflect:

Firstly:  I recently attended the AGM of a local home which cares for and trains people with intellectual disabilities.The facility’s mission statement reads:  “xxx strives to meet the needs and wishes of people with intellectual disabilities through care and support to enrich and challenge them to be part of the world community”, and their branding message is “dignity and purpose”. It was pleasing to see the name of our club and our past activities noted in the Annual Report booklet, as well as see the names of several club members mentioned as individual donors. But what moved me were several things related to the residents.  Firstly, there was the singing group “The Bandits” who proudly and passionately performed several songs to those present before the AGM, completely unperturbed by their respective intellectual disabilities.  Secondly were the residents presented various achievement awards. Here two residents stood out – the male who, in spite of his autism, obtained employment and had to learn how to use public transport to travel to work, and the female who had lost her mother and brother carers before coming to the facility where she learnt social and employment skills.  Third were the interactions between a number of the residents.  They communicated need, affection and thanks to both carers and each other through simple acts of touching, kissing on the cheek or holding hands.  I must say I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed but also touched when one of the residents clutched my arm and leaned her head on my shoulder after I made an effort to engage in conversation with her at super.  All of these examples involve people and demonstrated to me the worth of individuals which we sometimes either don’t recognise or acknowledge and how the passion of these residents has no boundaries.

 The next event which moved me was my second visit to a local Aged Care facility.  “Rosie” the activities co-ordinator has sought my Rotary club’s help in creating a sensory garden for the residents. The area is small and the ask is modest.  This was my first meeting with “Rosie”, and she exuded a passion for the residents as people of worth, and she wanted to make a difference for them.  As “Rosie” showed me through the facility and we talked about the services provided, I was touched by the care and dedication shown by the staff to the residents and “Rosie’s” passion to provide.  Each of these people recognised the worth of the individuals in their care.  I do hope the sensory garden project become a reality as passion has no boundaries!

Finally I was reading of Rotary’s on-going efforts to rid the world of Polio, particularly their ‘this close’ campaign.  In doing so I ventured across a comment about a particular Band in the Congo called “Staff Benda Bilili”.  Most of the band are disabled, crippled by polio as children, and drive around in modified Chinese mopeds.  Their message is not one of despair but of hope, not focussing on their own disabilities but on the disabilities of their nation.  They are indeed people of worth; they are passionate about their music and the messages it conveys.  Passion has no boundaries!  Be entertained by the following clip in which they sing a message about polio and how immunisation cures.

Passionate People Produce!  Passion has no boundaries!


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