Thursday, January 21, 2016


In life most people have a basic need to be "wanted," desired, sought after, or loved.  It's something that drives us to build friendships, it drives up to grow loving relationships and it pushes us to family reunions year-after-year so we can have our parents and grandparents tell us how much they miss us.  We want to be wanted.  In the field of developmental disabilities there are often few rewards.  The money is not great, the benefits are few, and the hours are long, but the opportunity to be wanted and loved is always present.

I was recently working in an office as some people with disabilities left their workshop in the room next to me.  I heard one individual talking with a staff and her question was simple.  She asked, "When are you going to work in my house again?"  The staff responded that she did not know and then asked, "Do you want me to come work at your home?"  The response was immediate, "Yes."
It was a simple interaction that I intruded on by listening to the conversation.  I happened to be at an angle where I could turn in my seat and watch the staff.  What I saw was amazing.  The staff was smiling, she hugged the person, and told her that she would see what she could do about working at the young lady's home again soon.  The staff was "wanted."

Too often we forget that the unconditional love, admiration, and even friendship that we so often seek from family members and friends outside work, can be found in the hearts and minds of the people we serve.  Jesus once said that we must approach the Kingdom of Heaven and accept it with the mind of a child.  The people we serve are often noted to have IQ levels around the age of four to five year old children.  Even though they come to us in the body of a thirty-five year old, or forty year old etc, they come with the mind of a child.  They come with an unconditional love that mimics that childlike approach Jesus discussed about the Kingdom of Heaven.  They accept us with our faults, our short-comings, and often without knowing anything about our lives outside of work.  That unconditional love pushes them to a love that is "wanting".  They "want" us in their lives.  They "want" us working with them, visiting them, and spending time with them.

You will receive a lot of gifts in your lifetime.  Friends will give you birthday presents, loved ones will give you Christmas presents, and others will give you all sorts of gifts over your lifetime.  The gift of being "wanted" though is one that is expected from your family and even your friends, but it is one that is often given freely and in love from the people we serve without any strings or any expectations.  They innocently reach out to us and they honestly want us involved in their lives, and there can be no greater gift than to be wanted unconditionally.

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