Monday, February 23, 2009

Completely Blessed, and Glad to be Reminded.

The human body is a completely amazing thing. From the point of conception, there are so many things that can go wrong at a minute level, which in turn can change our lives and the lives of our loved ones in a big way. But, they usually don't go wrong. The majority of us live lives with relative ease, and we become absorbed in our lives so much that we forget this body that allows us to do what we do.

I was completely in that category until two weeks ago. I started helping out in the Life Skills class at the local high school. There are various levels of kids to work with: Those who are fairly helpless, those who can be taught basic living skills, and those who can be taught skills outside of home in order to take on jobs. I worked with the first two. There are some amazing people working with these kids. My favorite was the music therapist who came in and played for them. You should have seen their faces light up when hearing her sing to them.

The fun thing, though, is getting to know these kids. They are amazing. There are times when they show little glimpses of their personalities, and you realize the shell that we see on the outside is very different from what is going on on the inside.

These students actually go to classes and participate in school, and they do benefit from these services. I know I was curious about that. But what is much more beneficial is how the average students relate to these kids. Not only are they accepting of them, they consider them part of their class. They make sure they get in class OK, help them if they drop things, and show no signs of fear or intimidation that I think is part of my generation.

So I am happy to have this relatively healthy body of mine (minus strep from last week). And I am happy that I can use it to help those who's bodies aren't as healthy. But more than that, I'm thrilled to be able to get to know these hidden treasures in our midst.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


My husband has been reading a lot of biographies lately. He's enjoyed books on Joseph, Daniel and Abraham, and took that love of reading about great men a little further to mesh it with his love for American History. He's taken on some lengthy books as a result, and enjoys sharing little insights he's noticed when reading about some of the great men in our history. Ben Franklin was one that he especially enjoyed reading about. The man was truly a Renaissance Man.

For Christmas I got him a biography on John Adams. He's fun to read about because he was a pretty animated character. But he also gave little tidbits of information about Thomas Jefferson. When reading about John Adams, you get to hear his thoughts on his contemporary, and contrast the way they interacted at a very important crossroads in our history.

It seems Adams saw Mr. Jefferson as an odd person. Jefferson was quiet, and preferred to stay away from crowds. In fact, during the all important sessions of hammering out the wording of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson did not stay in town with the rest of the group. He took a small apartment on the outskirts of town, away from the noise, and I'm sure drop-in company. This seclusion was important to this man, because it was he who took what was said and decided in those meetings, and put the ideas into a meaningful and useful document that has guided this great nation of ours.

Big Dad and I were discussing this, and it came to us that observers are an important part of society. They are fringe people, not in the spotlight. They prefer to watch, take in and observe in order to make sense of things. The beauty of this type of person is that when they make sense of things, and communicate that to others, it enables others to understand as well. They show us paths of understanding that we might miss if someone wasn't there to watch out for it. Big Dad is somewhat like this, and it's fun to see the great men in history who have similar habits.

Mainstream isn't for everyone. Observers like Thomas Jefferson keep us on the right track, and keep mainstream in check. I really like observers.