"What is the point of their lives? Do their lives have any meaning?" asked Dr. Jürgen Trogisch, a pediatrician who works among the severely mentally handicapped. He could treat the externals, but what was going on inside, within such damaged brains?I wish I had written these myself. The bottom three are definitely an expression of what I've learned over the past several months living through this thing with Ali.
For many years Dr. Trogisch could not answer the question of meaning. He performed his medical tasks anyway, but he had no answer. Then he ran an introductory course to train new helpers for the center, and at the end of the one-year training period, he asked the young helpers to fill out a survey. Among the questions was this one, "What changes have taken place in your life since you became totally involved with disabled people?" Here is a sampling of their answers:
- For the first time in my life I feel I am doing something really significant.
- I feel I can now do things wouldn't have thought myself capable of before.
- During my time here I have won the affection of Sabine. Having had the opportunity to involve myself with a disabled person, I no longer think of her as disabled at all.
- I am more responsive now to human suffering and it arouses in me the desire to help.
- It's made me question what is really important in life.
- Work has assumed a new meaning and purpose. I feel I'm needed now.
- I've learned to be patient and to appreciate even the slightest sign of progress.
- In observing the disabled, I've discovered myself.
- I've become more tolerant. My own little problems don't seem so important any longer, and I've learned to accept myself with all my inadequacies. Above all I've learned to appreciate the little pleasures in life, and especially I thank God that he has shown me that love can achieve more that hate or force.
Read this book. This quote can be found on pages 205 & 206.