Dish Analogy, Hurricane Katrina, Elderly Services, Baton Rouge Aging Network, Coping, The Glue that holds us all together
Dish Analogy - BRAN - this is what I developed and presented in February, 2006 at the first BRAN (Baton Rouge Aging Network) meeting. I had gotten some of the text from an anonymous author back in the 1980's while giving TEC's ("Teens Experience Christ").
Take a look at this dish. It is round, solid and in one piece. Think back on your life to times when you were like that – solid, in one piece - a time when you seemed to have it altogether. You were happy most of the time and seemed to be able to handle problems as they arose.
Most of us were living everyday life with its ups and downs as best as we could before Katrina. We were providing a plethora of services for the aged in our communities – sometimes directly as a source and other times as a resource.
Something like this dish. It’s together and in one piece. It can be dropped a little, even hit a little and still remain whole. The dish is round – it’s continuous like your life can be. No cracks; no missing pieces.
The plate looks nice – it is pretty smooth with a nice design and can be picked up and held without breaking. It can hold things on it – is useful and fulfills a purpose.
When I’m together, whole, unbroken, I can also be of use to someone. I’m not scared. I can be picked up and held. I can be transported to a new place without crumbling. I can be dropped a little or man handled a little and still be okay.
Sometimes, we were frustrated by lack of staffing or other resources in our service modality. Maybe we didn’t do enough networking to really know how to find answers to our problems. Possibly, we had to put potential clients on a waiting list.
But if the dish is hit too hard (HAMMER) or dropped to smash the plate, even the most solid plate has a breaking point. We all do. All of us have had real life experiences as the result of some type of displacement from the storms.
Look at the plate. It’s now in a million pieces, scattered across the floor. They will remain that way – scattered – until someone cares enough to begin to gather those pieces back together.
This takes time; one might have to hurt real hard to find some of those pieces. They might be dug into the rug or carried off on someone’s clothing. Some pieces may never be found.
Some of us may never see our family members, friends, homes, co-workers, offices, or clients again as before or never at all. This can make us feel totally helpless.
Once the pieces are gathered, someone has to care enough to try to fit those pieces back together. This takes a lot of time; the more pieces, the longer time. It will take some kind of glue to keep the pieces together now.
This BRAN group is the glue that is also pulling us together to help one another.
As you are gluing the plate together, pieces may slip out frustrating you. A piece may be missing and you have to do with less than you started with and would like.
If the glue isn’t strong enough, or the pieces don’t fit back together well enough, the plate is extremely fragile and won’t be able to sustain even a single blow without crumbling.
We have to be willing to take risks like we’ve maybe never done before. We have to look to others as partners and not only competitors. We’re all in the same boat – are we going to row together or in different directions?
Thus, if the plate is pieced together with more care and more patience and stronger glue, the plate can be strong, if not stronger than before.
But this takes someone (YOU!) who cares so much that they won’t try to rush the process, won’t stop before it’s completed – won’t walk away before the glue has dried and won’t resort to cheaper glue.
Once the plate is glued together, it may have jagged edges, a piece may still be missing, the design may not be as nice as before. But it can be strong again – it can be useful again. This is what Faith is all about - and what we do per BRAN!
Keith John Paul Horcasitas, LCSW, MHA, khorcasitas.yahoo.com.