Sometimes...I question my existence, my reason for being. Many days I wake and I look at the room around me and I ask myself, "Why bother to get up? Who's going to care? What difference do I make in the world?"
I recently got an answer, in a way, to that question. Let me tell you a story...
First of all, having dedicated a year and a half to being a work-from-home writer and editor, I've decided to back into the work force. I miss it--the vibration of tools in my hands, the easy camaraderie of working with other mechanics, the paychecks that went into a savings account, and more than anything, watching something I worked on with my bare hands take to the skies. I'm looking for a job. This led to me meeting a man who helps the deaf/hard of hearing not only find work, but keep it.
It's a program in which the people visit the deaf person's potential work place and they educate the employer about the employee's disability, rights, and what accommodations need to be made. For the deaf/HOH, they even make sure there are phones we can use on the job site. If an employee is discriminated against later down the road, these people step in and remind the employer of the disabled's rights.
This time I'm going to get a job and protect myself. Three years down the road, I will not suddenly be told I can't wear my hearing aid...but I digress.
This man I met with (I'm going to call him Domino)...who dedicates so much of his time to helping people like me...throughout the meeting, I kept wondering, "Why does he do this? Why does he care?" From my personal experience, hearing people very rarely think about what we go through...or care. I wondered if he had a daughter like me, a wife, a mother...someone close to him who is deaf who's been put through the wringer.
And I asked him, "Why do you do this, help people like me?"
Domino was just getting out of the Army and didn't know what to do with himself. I think he said he drove a tank and that's not a job that really prepares you for anything outside the service. Someone told him to find something he was passionate about and then find someone who would pay him to do that.
If only it were that easy, eh?
Well, one day Domino went to a diner/restaurant and he spoke to the man behind the counter. The restaurant worker ignored him. After repeating himself a few times, Domino grew angry and even beat on the counter. Someone else said to him, "Hey, that guy's deaf. He can't hear you."
Domino felt like crap. He apologized to the deaf restaurant worker and they became the best of friends...and it was this person who eventually led to Domino becoming an advocate and helper of the deaf/HOH, and in turn, led him on my path.
So this entire story is one long answer. That kid flipping burgers, the person behind the restaurant counter, the gas station attendant, the waitress, I don't give a crap what their occupation is...they could be dominoes. By merely existing, they could be having an impact on someone and changing their life, just like that deaf restaurant worker did for Domino.
The restaurant worker was a domino, who touched Domino, who in turn has touched hundreds of other deaf people and helped them, including me.
So be a domino. Let that be your purpose. Knock someone over and watch them knock someone over in turn. Before you know it, we've all fallen down...in a good way.