Friday, August 21, 2015

#BlogElul Day 6: Understand

I know I've linked to Educator and Humorist Pamela Schuller's presentation "I am Here; Hear Me Bark" on her Tourrettes and inclusion in Jewish life. I think it's worth posting it here again because it says something very important about the work we do and what it means to live a meaningful Jewish life.

So go ahead and  watch. I'll wait.

Schuller's experiences remind us of how hard we try to understand someone else. But all too often, our quest for understanding becomes more about judgment, about diagnosis, about telling others about what we think they should do. We become armchair quarterbacks (or doctors, or parents...those are my favorite) who use our newfound understanding to make ourselves experts.

The truth is, often, we don't need to understand. We need to be present. To accept. To include (making a song out of a nervous tic; yelling out ' a bad word!' whenever an "F-Bomb" is dropped). To remember that our job is not to fix the symptom but to be supportive of the whole human being.

It's not all about understanding. It's about being and doing.

(Hat tip to Rachel Ackerman and Lisa Friedman for introducing the video to me).

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