“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
-To me spirituality can come from many sources, mainly from within, to believe in you is not only a gratifying feeling but can be a spiritual awakening.
I believe everybody has their own definition of spirituality; it can come from a book, it can come from a lesson learned both bad and good but it mainly comes from the individual.
Our community should be based on tolerance and acceptance as we are populated with neighbors from every race, religion, upbringing and belief.
We can go through trying times, we can go through pleasant times but let each experience give you a sense of awakening and try and learn from it, respect others definitions of what they consider spirituality as there are many ways to define what it is, It can be a feeling, emotion, sensation but always accept and learn.
What might not seem significant to one may seem valid for another that is what makes us individuals.
Be understanding, compassionate, kind, think of how others will react before you act, feel comfortable in yourself as long as you are not harming yourself or others, you may encounter a self awakening or “spiritual experience!” In the long run, everyone benefits.-Ian Young
Rose Kennedy was quoted as saying “It has been said time heals all wounds, I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting its sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”A quote that rings true to me, and probably thousands of others who have suffered an injury. There are therapists and there are terrorists. The motions of therapy are as confusing to the client as they are to the professional. Of course you will embark on your careers with the finest skills, terminology, even evidence of what may or may not work, and at times it may be frustrating for you, but I can guarantee it is far more frustrating for the person you’re working with.
The mechanics of once simple tasks have diminished, not only frustrating, at times embarrassing and even humiliating. I believe if I would have listened to some of the things I was told, I truly would not be here to speak in front of you today.
It comes from understanding the needs, physical measurements the human body and soul can endure. Fortunately I finally received proper rehabilitation, not by a monetary reward on my part but by understanding team who made me part of my recovery.
Some of the unprofessionalism I encountered was being told I would never get better; well I did, even being told to embark on a career where I don’t have to speak as my speech impediment would hold me back. Had I listened I would not be here speaking to this audience or having the chance and honour to speak at the House of Commons in Ottawa. I am not out to prove anything to anyone just asking for respect, understanding and being able to look at my ability, not my disability. That epiphany started with the amazing team I encountered that worked with me, not for me.
You as future professionals have the advantage to work with people on their strengths, not set them up for failure on their acquired weaknesses. I am not out to prove anything to anyone who emotionally battered me into thinking I would not regain a quality of life, just encourage you all to consider the effect you may have on the one you work with.
As I began this speech with a quote let me end with one by Ralph Waldo Emerson “Let us treat men and women well; treat them as if they were real. Perhaps they are.”
So my journey brings me here; the nation’s capital where the stroke of a pen can impact lives forever, where EVERYONE in our great house of parliament is truly aware of health-care costs and rehabilitation expenses, federal taxes and discuss these events on a daily basis; the home of our elected leader, that we the citizens of Canada elected. Hopefully a leader who continues to lead after reaching his destination. Coincidentally this is my birthplace; a metropolis I am proud to originate from in a country where freedom and logic reign. Unfortunately I come back injured, the wounded always come back to heal. Since my injury, I have been surrounded by knowledge of survival; but shocked to have learned that an injury prevention element could have been implemented.
My injury was quote “a stroke of insight” as it made me aware of others who could be leading quality lives if injury prevention became a national strategy. The cost of preventable injury is putting Canadian businesses at an economic disadvantage and lowering the standard of living for us all. Our health-care system is the #1 wonder of our nation’s environment, we must invest in a National Injury prevention program or it is at risk. Head injury is the leading killer of males under 35, extreme sports is fueling the epidemic; it is being overlooked as a health issue, accidents can be prevented, lifelong disabilities can be avoided. The human and economic burden is staggering and frighteningly continues to grow. Citizens are not receiving proper health-care as a result, and it pains me to think of the ones slipping through the cracks. In this proud capital, my birthplace, I return to plea with policy makers to no longer ignore injury prevention, and look at the risks we take daily in this amazing nation. I am speaking for millions of survivors, spouses, family members, those who have faced a loss or quality of life for something easily preventable.
We as a country have the advantage of setting a proud example. I want to thank VIA Rail, the Brain Injury Association of Canada for sponsoring me to “come home”.
Motivational speaker, human rights enthusiast,disability advocate