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Empathy of Time

    I've been at my job for 18 years now, (working on 19), and oddly I am 'beginning' to get the hang of the reason for it all.  Longevity brings insight.  I am not so slow at learning, that I did not "get it" before; it's just that with over time there is a deep appreciation of a larger picture.  There are a few employees who have certainly been there longer than I have and more than a few who are much sharper than I; two ladies I know right off hand who have been there for 45 years.  A lifetime is still too short in the grand scheme of things.

   I work for The State of Texas, caring for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, and yet I have learned a great deal from them.  The residence of the State Supported Living Centers - live there, and I am the one privileged to work for them.  I have been on two different campuses, seen 4 Superintendents, 6 Unit Directors, more than a few Building Coordinators and have lost count of the Direct Care Professionals who have come and gone.  I was in one position for 16 years, another for a year and this one for a year now; but the residence "live" there.  Living there and working there are worlds apart in understanding and view of life.  Equated with being a passenger or a driver.  Drivers are in a different head space altogether "than the ones they serve".

   I am very blessed to work with these "Individuals" and (dare I said it aloud) grateful I am not living there being cared for on a 24/7 basis.  We "normal people" have such a skewed view of 'existence'.  All of our problems, issues and concerns are nothing by comparison.  We should not live or dwell upon comparison, but there should be a cognitive awareness of appreciation.  That awareness ought to enable us to view our troubles and materialism with an honest approach, and less selfishness.  Having said that, it is profoundly difficult of what we should be appreciating all the time.

   LIFE can turn on a dime.  As as artist and armature writer what if I lost my eyesight? A runner their legs or a musician their hearing?  No matter how in tune we think we are nor how much empathy we strive to show and share we we forever fail.  Life is about growth and learning. I am still learning.


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