Recently I was invited to attend an event at the The House Of Lords. We were hosted by a charity called Carousel and their collaborative partner firms. The objective was to raise awareness of their not for profit initiative: the Oska Bright Film Festival.
Oska Bright is the first and only festival of short films made by people with learning disabilities that is produced, managed and presented by a learning disabled team.
It was a lovely evening with great company and some very impressive productions were screened with moving stories behind each film director-producer. Many people suffer both minor and serious learning disabilities, and far more than is obvious to the human eye.
There are many ways the lives of those with learning disabilities can be affected on a daily basis. It can be harder and take longer for them to participate in domestic chores through learning and studying. It can be harder to keep up with others in sports and exercise too, as well as in the workplace environment, and even can bring various difficulties into social interactions. Basic tasks such as learning to tie shoelaces and grooming can be much harder, along with essential activities like reading, typing and writing speeds. It is healthy for everyone to be aware of this as it can be hard to relate to such challenges unless you face them yourself or are close to someone else with learning disabilities beit very visible or hidden.
A common positive for individuals with learning disabilities is a drive to be independent with a flair for innovation or creativity. Learning disabilities can deeply affect ones confidence, so one of the great positives about an initiative such as the Oska Bright Film Festival is the fantastic opportunity for sufferers to publicly express and embrace their independent and creative tendencies in a ‘encouraging environment’. It is a real chance for them to receive recognition for their talents and the extra work they have to put in just to try and keep up with those who do not have learning disabilities.
There are many good charities and worthy causes which always need more help and support. My own view is that all of us can always make more time or money to help one of many who may have been handed a set of less fortunate playing cards. Whilst as individuals we cannot help everyone, if we all did more together, we could achieve a wider reach. I use this belief as part of my everyday motivation to appreciate what I have as best I can, and to do as much as I can to help others in greater need.
If I have a bad day or get knocked back, then to pick myself back up, I remind myself of how much worse it could be – you only have to check the latest news headlines for instant examples. When I retire full time, or even part time, I look forward to dedicating much more of my life to worthy causes on top of the ones I currently support in various ways.
If you concur with or can relate to any of my points herein, and feel motivated to do more, then maybe you could do something for Oska Bright or another one of the many great causes that need you. Contrary to many assumptions I have encountered in others, it doesn’t always have to be about giving cash. Sometimes raising awareness can be enough. Maybe it is creating a role for someone in need by looking past their ‘disability’ to recognise their true ‘ability’.
There are many other ways to give back or ‘pay it forward’. Share this message across your social and business networks through social media, word of mouth, database/newsletter marketing. Volunteer some of your time to provide some hands on support to a charity or cause. If you are a business coach or just someone with a lot of commercial business experience, give some free time to help a charity raise more funds and to use those funds in ways that enables the most in need to be supported. If you are a marketer, give some free consultancy to help a cause reach more donors and share the good that they do. You could go and help in a soup kitchen for one night a month, help out in the office, etc etc.
Whatever it is, do something, do it regularly, do more of it, and share it with others. If we consciously want to, then we can always find more time or resource.