Tonight I watched a film called “The Fundamentals of Caring.” Yes, it was a film. And yes, it was made interesting so people would watch it. But unlike many films I’ve watched, it captured some people’s day to day lives and the struggles they face on a regular basis just to survive, let alone actually LIVE.
The film started with a man becoming a caregiver to a boy with limited mobility. This boy lived his life by a regular routine, only leaving the house once a week where he would go to the same park, E.V.E.R.Y. W.E.E.K.
The reality is that this is life for some people. And when I say some people, it’s actually a LOT of people. A statistic from the film said that 1 in 3500 people suffer from the same disorder as this boy. I don’t know how true that is, but I wonder how many people look at their limitations and think about what they can’t do instead of what they can. In numerous parts of the world, there is a lack of support and lack of funding to help these people do things we do every day and take for granted.
I’ve been working with children with disabilities for nearly 5 years now in a youth group setting, and it wasn’t until when I watched this film I began to wonder what opportunities are available to them when they turn 21, what they will do with their lives, and whether they’ll let their disabilities become limitations.
I’ve taken for granted little things like going out with my friends or being able to drive a car. I haven’t considered how much more difficult life could be if just one thing changed. Working 1-to-1 with an autistic child does make you consider how blessed you are that you are able to make small talk, or even explain what you are looking for or need in a supermarket without thinking about it.
I’ve taken everyday life for granted. I haven’t appreciated how blessed I am to be healthy, to have a job, to have a huge support network of family and friends, to be able to drive or jump on a bus with ease, and the opportunity to carry on with education. It’s only now I realise how lucky I am. Real life experience didn’t tell me this because the children I’ve worked with have all had amazing support networks, but that isn’t the case everywhere.
I want to travel. I want to see weird and wonderful sites. I want to volunteer with Big Animals. I eventually want a family. I want to buy my own property. I want to “slum it” in a foreign country and travel on scraps of money. I want a lot. I dream big.
Some people only want to pee standing up. (Watch the film)
**The film was based on a book linked below which I’ll definitely be giving a read.