Monday, February 26, 2007

Thunder Bay

I don't often think about it.


But I'm not getting old. I'm kinda actually ... old.

When I was in Thunder Bay giving a lecture at the conference on autism there, I met a wack of students from Lakehead College all getting there DSW (developmental service worker) diploma. They were so incredibly young.

And idealistic.

And energetic.

And hopeful.

They had exactly what the human service system needs - ideals. I talked to many of them and was impressed by their pragmatic understanding of what it meant to work in human services, they had just the right amount of cynicism mixed with the drop of passion that's necessary to get through the tough times.

When I talked with them they had actual ideas for what needed to change and where we, as a system, were missing the point. They spoke respectfully about their jobs and where they worked. They sold me tickets to a raffle and promised to give me my prize if I won. Wink.

So many times I've seen people driven out of this field, no longer able to take bureaucratic misfires, political decisions and harsh supervision. Good people. All who leave never complaining about the difficulty of serving people with disabilities but exhausted with serving the system.

I wish for these kids ... they don't know they're kids ... the spirit of forgiveness and the ability to use it when we mess up, the spirit of courage and the ability to stand up to us when we mess up, the spirit of laughter and the ability to laugh it off when we mess up. Because mess up we will. Often. Over big things and small things. We'll make the mess and give you the mop. But you're young, you can do it.

Keep your eyes of the prize.

My generation won the community for people with disability.

Your generation must keep the promise.

We need you.

Oh, and Brian ... go fish.


Belinda said...

I don't know about being "old" because I'm older! (Ha!)But I do know about "grace-ful." This is such a "grace-ful" message with so much beauty and truth.

Once again, thank you Dave, for putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard--and letting what is in your heart flow out.

I agree--the spirit of grace and fogiveness is needed in abundance. We get it ALL the time from the people we are paid--PAID--to support (sometimes I think it should be the other way around).

Generosity and grace given will spread outward like a ripple. I know I want to be a Grace Giver--for obvious reasons!

Partymonster said...

Hi Dave. I was at your recent Ethics of Touch presentation in Warwick RI. We are hoping to include much of this information in orientation and ongoing training, but I have a hole in my notes whcih I need to fill, if you have a moment to get back to me I'd greatly appreciate it.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Bill, you need to give me a way of getting back to you. I tried through your blog but there were no posts to respond to with information. So, I don't know how to respond. Dave

andrea said...

I'm just getting into these fields -- boy am I glad that I'm only 45!

(what can I say; I'm a late bloomer)

Partymonster said...

Sorry Dave, I thought there was an e-mail link on my "blog"