How someone who’s, blind in one eye, almost blind in the other, made his own life, meaningful, by helping those who are in need, translated…
On this day, we’d, met at a fast-food restaurant. He’s a busy nine-to-fiver. Two mornings ago very early, he wore his pharmaceutical delivery uniform to the hospital for work as a counselor; in the afternoon, he’d, switched to a plain shirt, and headed to the 101 to develop the opening positions for work. But, every time he’d met someone’s gaze, the person couldn’t help, but focus on how his odd looking right eye, due to its, messed up lens. On that very day, he’d, smiled at people, just as he’d done from before.
At first, I’d thought that his eyes was a prosthetic that’s been, “installed”, as he’d heard, he’d started, laughing aloud, “no, this is real, but, it looked, quite fake too, because my right eye was, completely, blind, I can’t see a single thing.” And, all he had to rely on, was his, left eyes, and the sight on his left is, already, failing too.
He’d worked as a social worker in a social welfare agency, he’d called his workplace, “meeting place”, his job is to encourage those with mental illnesses who’d, stayed at home, to come to the “meeting place”, worked with them, to work alongside them, to sort through the things in the “meeting place”, for instance, cleaning, key entry, cooking, translations………to help the people gain that sense of achievement they’d, lacked; waiting until they’d had the abilities, then, he’d, helped them find a paying job.
“I think you have a very cool job!” is that so? He’d started, laughing, then, told me something he thought was, “really cool”.
Last year, a government agency had an opening for someone who’s handicapped, he’d, taken along two “members” from his office who’d shown great interests in working to the interviews. And, those who were known as “psychologically ill”, were the members of his “office”.
He’d treated the interviews as exams, he’d, sorted through the “test questions”, and, believed that the interviewer would ask the job applicants: to introduce themselves, how they are going to, overcome their troubles, and, what sort of assistance would they need from the office…………and, he’d, guessed over ninety percent of the interview questions correctly, and, both of his interviewees will start working, I’d laughed and told him, “you have a hundred-percent success rate!”
He’d felt, that the “interview” wasn’t hard, because, all those who are handicapped, became, experts in their handicaps, and, had their own ways, of coping. He is also, a handicapped person himself, but, I’d found, that in conversing with him, there was, that sense of empathy, that he’d felt troubled, by other people’s troubles. Because it was his work, he’d, wanted to help the “members”, to break out of their cages even more.
He’d mentioned that he’d helped a case with bad hands, and the person can only type up eight characters with his middle finger per minute, and, he’d, slowly, increased to eighteen characters. And, although being able to key eighteen characters per minute couldn’t help him find a job, but, because he’d gotten the cares and concerns from a social worker, he’d stopped, blaming his troubles on everybody else and his circumstances, he’d become, a brand new man.
Why did he mention this, unimportant case?
Turned out, although he’d, seemed quite confident, he’s, actually, not, he’d, managed to “overcome” that by finding the sense of accomplishment in what he does; for instance, as he’d found a job for a person, or if the person changed because of him, then, he’d, felt achieved, and, thus, his confidence level, boosted. Just like he’d said, the handicapped, ARE the experts, of their own, handicaps.
He’d added another, seemingly ordinary image. One day, he was working at his computer station, a member came over to him, sat next to him, the two of them started, carrying on in conversation.
“What happened to your right eye?”
“I’d become blind because I was born prematurely.”
“Must be really hard on you then?”
“I’m okay, I think, you have it worse than I had it.”
And, the two of them, started laughing aloud together.
This short conversation, brought the two hearts, closer together, and, this sort of a feeling was, hard to put into words, but, it’d, made him get that sense of achievement he’d, sought.
And, because the “members’” conditions are, quite unpredictable, and there were, challenges, everywhere, so, he’d needed to spend more time, to get in touch with their psyches, this made his job unexpected, and it’d, given him, surprises from time to time.
He’d mentioned something he was really proud of to me.
This member wanted to help him find a job opening, because he’d wanted to, help lighten his workload, he was very moved by the individual. Actually, this particular member had made great strides during this last year. He’d started helping out around his house this past year, went with his mother to the hospital without being asked, and stayed right by her side, and, although, he wasn’t, at all articulate, but, his actions, showed that he’s, very gentle…………he’d told how the “members” changed like it was, something major.
As we’d finished eating, and left the fast-food restaurant, some passersby still focused on his right eye that was, awkward. But, I’d, looked deeply, into his right, the eye that can only, sense, some weak light, that’s, always helped him, see the good qualities of the “members”. This made me recall the sculptor, Rodin’s words, “There’s no lacking in beauty in this world, but a lacking in the eyes that can, see them.”
And so, this, is how someone who’s, “handicapped” started helping others who needed him to help, and, his job as a social worker is, enriching for him, because, he’d made his own life count, made it, more meaningful, in helping those in need, and, he’s, nowhere, NEAR handicapped, despite his physical conditions one bit!