We are volunteering in the special needs school, with kids with intellectual disabilities, and with kids with hearing impairment. Also we are volunteering in the Center for kids and young adults with autism. We spend most of our time doing activities in the latter. Spending time with these kids puts life into perspective. I mean, maybe you weren’t born with every privilege at hand, but these kids’ lives were limited from the get-go with an incredibly low ceiling. If you just start listing all the things that they will never experience, you could become listless and disturbed. Some of these boys and girls are in my age and they are still children for all intents and purposes, except one thing. When the child grows up physically, it loses some of the charm of its naivety. Its childishness becomes a great burden. Their parents get more and more depressed as time goes by even if they don’t want, as they see their golden boy/girl ascend to adulthood unknowingly. There is definitely a tragedy to be seen in a situation like that. However, there is courage and resilience too. Resilience and resistance against the inevitable, a Sisyphean joy. You begin to wоnder : “What if it was me? Would I have the strength to do all that they do? ”
Then your shift ends for the day and you have to go back to your own hopes and dreams. And you don’t come back the same. You decide to not waste your time (so much). You decide to do only what you want to and have to do the most, and nothing in between. You stop second guessing yourself as often as you used to. And, maybe none of this happens to you. Maybe you do your activities and you don’t take anything you do there to heart. Then again, that’s not the point of the matter. It’s not a job, and you’re here to help. You know you can’t help much anyway, but this time, that won’t stop you from trying.