The day after I posted my first story about Ukrainian Exceptionalism, I received a message from Misha Dyrda informing me that he was not the only one responsible for the event I attended. The jazz concert was his idea but a lot of other good people invested their time and effort to make it possible, too.
How Misha became involved with Cerebral Palsy and people with special needs is heartwarming. It began with a visit to a friend who was taking a course to help build leadership and self confidence in all areas of his life at the Emotional Center http://www.resheniya.com.ua/.
Misha was surprised because his friend lived a normal life and now he was a part of a team of volunteers who were finding sponsors and raising money to help rebuild a boarding school for orphans in Vorzel that was destroyed in a fire during the cold of winter.
I asked Misha to write about his experience going through the program. Here is his touching unedited story.
So, let’s start from the very beginning… In the beginning was training – “Program of developing emotional leadership” – a set of strange and ambiguous words as for me. But if I try to describe it using plain common language I would say the following. NOTE: This is my interpretation.
Each of us was a baby and I am not an exception. And as a baby I was free, honest, joyful, and I gave my love and joy to everyone who appeared in my world. I didn’t think whether he/she/it deserves my love or not…just give it. When I was a baby I didn’t need to prove anything since I knew that I am fine and everyone is fine. But as I grew up I met some people that told me “You are not fine” – skinny, fat, stupid, tall, short, ugly etc. And as time went by that dirt accumulated inside of me and I believed that I am not ok. Sprouts of diffidence fear and stinginess in feelings came up. During the training I managed to go through that dirt to the core of me and find out what is important for me personally. It was like an insight. I felt power and desire to influence on world; I am responsible to what is going on around me.
Then one lady our group mate told that there is a CP-center and she would like to do anything for these people. We went to that center and found very strong, cheerful, but very lonely people. No one cares about these people in this country. “Normal” people try to not notice them. This a community of lonely people united by the grief. They impressed me a lot, especially Anton, he is the most strong person I have ever met in my life. When we did an event in dolphin-house, I was responsible to the cp-people from Troeschina. Anton lives there. I talked to him all the way back to his home. He knows that he has not much time to live and he lives with all of his might. After that I don’t have a question should I do it or not. Someone, even some of my friends, told me that I am an idiot and I am wasting my time…I don’t care. I know if I am able to make life to someone like Anton a bit brighter then my life wasn’t useless.