Saturday, July 12, 2008

Things that make you go hmm...

Just over year ago, we kicked off with our network of support groups. What an exciting time that was, launching a project that would reach out to people nation-wide; people who were walking the same painful journey I had walked so many years before. The loneliness of infertility is perhaps the memory that stands out most when I think back to those times. Thus, the need for a project, whose main aim would be to ensure that infertility need not be a lonely journey.

People around us welcomed our support groups with open arms. What started out as an "embryo" project (pardon the expression), with my own pilot group, matured into a full-fledged network of 6 support groups across the country. A year later, we're rewarded with the acknowledgement that dreams sometimes do come true. And this dream-come-true is due to the hard work, effort and commitment of all those volunteers, our group leaders, and our psychologist, who took to heart our Support Group motto - "We must be the change we want to see in the world" (Ghandi).

As with all things in life, it wasn't just a walk in the park. We did hit a few brick walls. Skepticism, for one, is a difficult wall to climb over. A sister organisation, which I whole-heartedly believed would be by our side, rooting us on, took a different road. They opted to point out all the drawbacks that a project like this would entail and draw up a list of all the reasons why they thought it would be a failure. As if we were about to embark on a perilous mission that would put many lives at stake. For instance, one of their arguments was that peer-led support groups could never work because they have to be led by a therapist or counsellor. I remember being asked, "so what will you do if someone breaks down completely during one of the sessions?". "Hmm...I'll do just what I always do when friends need my support. I'll lend them a shoulder to cry on or give them a hug to show that I care," was my reply. People don't take therapists to funerals when they're mourning the loss of a loved-one, support comes from within the circle of family & friends. And it's not that different here.

Well, a year or so later this same sister organisation is about to launch their first peer-led support group, with dreams of also changing the world. There's that expression "what goes around comes around". Perhaps, in this case, what comes around may just well be a lesson learnt, with fresh starts and new beginnings. That's how we change the world.

Well, Ben Harper thinks we can change the world with our own two hands:

Things that make you go hmm...

No comments: