what kind of world do you want
I had the privilege of honouring an interpreter for the deaf tonight at an awards ceremony. Afterwards as there were congratulations and chatter (verbal and sign), one of the discussions I got involved in was how deaf children can struggle in school without effective interpreters. How brilliantly gifted people (who cannot hear and struggle sometimes to speak with their voice) are denied the opportunity to develop their talents and give their gifts to the world because there are simply not enough interpreters who are well trained to be able to work with them through their studies.
All of this led me to think about the kind of world I want to live in. I want to live in a world where each member of the community is valued, where we make room for the bright, the beautiful, the gifted, the not-so-smart and the not-so-beautiful. I want to live where every person feels their worth reflected by how those around them assist them and create opportunities for them.
There are days like today where the question comes down to funding – limited by funding, not because there are not people who are gifted in interpreting for the deaf (or spoken languages) but because funding for training the language-gifted is simply not there. We can spend millions on sport development, weapons, exploring space… surely we value these members of our community and the political will is there to include them in ALL we do?
So often I work with the marginalised of our community, those who others have thrown aside because they cannot see their gifts, they have not taken the time to recognize them and they are rushing towards a world defined by dollar value alone. As a community, let us stop and consider the kind of world we want to live in. Then let us, one by one begin to live differently. Some ideas for you:
– Stop and ask the waitress/waiter how busy they have been today and how they are coping
– Make a donation to the Red Cross, World Relief or the Salvation Army (or any other charity working with those who are undervalued), start with a few dollars
– Start including the “unlovely” in your invitations
You and I, we make up this global village. We can make decisions today that will change the world we live in tomorrow. Let’s make the change for the better!