Friday, 15 October 2010

Standing on the shoulders of many

Responsibility. Is it a blessing or a curse? I cannot fall for their sakes, yet I cannot stand on my own two feet. Is it a case of ‘the blind leading the blind’? What if I lead them in the wrong direction? What if I lose the way? Whom do I follow?

I ran away often as a child. I would sit alone for hours in a meadow, which overlooks our village. I would sit watching life from a distance, pondering where all the people go. How they know ‘what to do’? Did they have a handbook? Had they been given instructions on how to ‘Keep your head down and get on with it’? Why were they hectically rushing around and not sitting in a field of daisies contemplating these things? I had no real reason for running away other than the fact that I needed to be out of view. I have not changed a bit in that sense. Nevertheless, when so many people depend on you, it is not so easy to hide away. I am not a little girl anymore.

I have been deliberating my options. I have weighed up the pros and cons of holding so many people’s emotions in my hands.

  • I have to make decisions for people that I have never met or spoken to in my life.
  • I have no training.
  • I have never even been in a crowd of that many people before, let alone lead them.
  • I get the blame when things go wrong.

  • When I had questions, they gave me answers.
  • When I needed a friend, they became my friend.
  • When I ask for support, they are all there in seconds.
  • When I began, I could only dream of this outcome. If it were not for them, it would never have been possible.

How can I possibly turn my back on so many people so dear to me and such an achievement? I cannot. I may be a loner, but I cannot let so many wonderful people down. Each name is engraved in my heart for the gift of trust. Therefore, I need to confront what it is that is having such an affect on my intentions. It is not them; it is me.

Reading back the ‘Cons’, takes me back to the start where responsibility feels like a burden. It is not that. I do feel, however, that I am terrified of not delivering what they need. These people have struggled unsupported for years. Some of them have struggled for an entire lifetime. I completely empathise. I know how hard it can be. There are no answers, no agendas, just a pitiable handout and a ‘have a nice day’. I remember the day we had the results. That was the last time we saw the ‘Doctor’. I was utterly devastated that there was so little awareness of this diagnosis. I had so many questions that needed answering and absolutely nobody to put them to. I felt very alone and forgotten.

I have changed their lives. Once, they were as alone as I was. Once, they had no way of meeting others in the same situation. They felt like outcasts. Now, they meet daily with thousands and share their joys, their woes, their advice and their experiences. They share, not only for their sakes, but because they too know that feeling of being forgotten about. I have given them a community where they once had nobody at all. They have a global network of support available 24 hours a day.

It took a little effort. I worked hard and I made it work. Why am I the only person who has done this for them? Why can the governments not make that little effort and make some awareness and support?

I am the only support for these people.

At heart, I am still that little girl, sitting in a meadow full of daisies, but I am no longer looking at people that know the way. These people are looking up to my meadow for guidance. It is time to stand up and lead the way.

If I am the only way of getting support for them, then that is what I need to do. If they need answers, I need to ask questions. I need to push hard and demand more for them. It is what they deserve.

I do not have responsibilities, I have a purpose.

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