Now that my days have me surrounded by people less fortunate than I, humble is a feeling that I am beginning to get quite used to. When I have counted my blessings in the past, I have tended to generalise. Thankful for good health. Thankful that we are well off financially. Thankful for healthy, happy children. And so on.
Generalisations are now on the way out and I am feeling more specific. For instance:
* I am grateful that my children have no learning difficulties.
* I am grateful that my children have no physical limitations for day to day life.
* I am grateful that my children are able to function well in social situations.
Of course, I am also grateful that I have no learning difficulties, no physical limitations and am adept in the social arena.
Working with people who face these difficulties everyday, is challenging and confronting at every turn. When looking for a person to pack product, I have found myself asking, who can count? Being able to count to three or five, I now classify as simple counting. Being able to count to twenty is advanced.
Some can not walk without a walker. Others only a few steps. Some have full functionality in only one hand. Some can walk and use both hands but struggle with their emotions. Some struggle with paranoia, some struggle to communicate.
Yet everyday, they come together and work as a team. They each take one aspect of the task and do it to the best of their ability. I have seen the proud humbled by simple mistakes and then place all their energy into getting it right. The amount of satisfaction they have when they get it right is contagious. When they struggle again five minutes later and fail, their frustration is felt as a collective.
Generally they are accepting of the limitations of one another. Making a mistake is a fact of life. Accepted and overcome. When asked if they can help me with a task they answer either yes or no, I can’t. Rarely do they say they don’t want to. Being able to help is a joy not a chore.
Every day is not a day in paradise. There are frustrations and there are moments that I wish myself anywhere else. However, I have felt that in every job I have ever held. The difference here is that I am able to find my value and, I hope, help others to find theirs. There is no need to knock others down so I can climb up.
As I said in an earlier post, it is exhausting but infinitely worthwhile.