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Posts Tagged ‘l’arche’

My introduction to people with special needs began as a young child, visiting my aunt’s house. My cousin, older by just a few years, is hearing impaired. She is a dear and kind-hearted soul, who loves her family with selfless abandon.

The next exposure to people with special needs was a boy at school, with Downs syndrome. He was just a year older than myself, a most friendly guy, always wearing a smile for anyone who passed. I remember seeing him in the resource room, where I volunteered in high school, being taught, loved and cared for by the most human honouring woman I’ve ever known. I remember him in church, singing every hymn by memory.

As tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite thought-provoking article and video on the subject of people who have special needs.

The first (below) is written by CTV News at 6 host, Tamara Taggart, and more importantly, a mom of three, wife of one. It is a short, worthwhile read, of Tamara’s experience being told and understanding what it means to have a son diagnosed with Down syndrome.

http://metronews.ca/voices/opinion/1317070/tamara-taggart-my-son-has-down-syndrome-and-he-is-perfect/

The next is a lengthier video … but worth every second! The interview is with Jean Vanier (son of George Vanier, Governor General in Canada in the early 1960s), and each time I listen, I am reminded of my my own reason for working with people who live with special needs, diagnosis … to treat people with dignity, with respect and with love.

Warning: this video may just change you forever (watch it anyway). http://youtu.be/m8ECGXDDYd8

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jv_humain1

Helping others can often result in others helping us.

The gift of being a giver is often that the giver becomes a receiver.

Such was the case for Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche (The Ark).

Son of a Governor General of Canada, Vanier had the freedom and resources to choose whatever life he desired. His career began in the Royal Canadian Navy, followed by the pursuit and achievement of a Doctorate in Philosophy, followed by teaching at the University of Toronto. Then came a visit to a friend, a priest, who worked with people with disabilities.

It was that visit that led to Jean’s undeniable request from Jesus to take a man or two to live with him … men from an institution, who suffered mental and physical handicaps. They lived, daily living, together.

Jean thought that HE was doing for them, yet, the giver became the receiver.

For more information on L’Arche, check out www.jean-vanier.org

Today, Jean Vanier, in his own words, speaks about “Seeing God in Others.”

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