All too often the media highlight the bad news in the world; the nastiness and bitterness, the cruel nature of humans and the inhumane way in which people who are ‘different’ are pushed to the outskirts of society. But tonight I watched a programme which changed my views of the world, and made me realise that not everyone and everything in the world is negative. There are LOTS of positive things that should be recognised and celebrated, and I wish they were highlighted more.
I just happened to flick channels over and catch the programme ‘Employable Me’ on BBC 2. I’d never heard of this so I was interested to see what it was all about, and I am so glad I found it by chance. It showed 2 men who suffered from different conditions, and these held them back from employment. One of the men had tourettes and the other had aspergers syndrome. Both of these conditions are things that I have heard of but don’t know much about and so it was highly interesting to see how the condition affected their lives.
I got quite upset in parts due to how difficult the conditions made their lives. The man with tourettes had to focus so much on his ticks that it severely tired him out and made it hard for him to concentrate on other things, which clearly has an impact on his career opportunities. Within the programme, both men had tests done to find out what their strengths and weaknesses were and it was amazing to see that they had incredibly high IQs, yet had never been able to get the opportunity to work due to one factor or another.
The programme showed both men being given a chance by different employers, and it was humbling to see how welcoming people were.
The man who suffered with tourettes did some work experience in a special needs high school, and the children there were very open and honest and reassured the man that they welcomed him- his condition did not matter. This part really reminded me of the placement I went on to a high school, in which I was based in the special educational needs unit. All the children there welcomed me, at times were brutally honest, but I could not have been more happy and proud to have spent time with them. Both the children and the staff were positive influences in my life, and I wish them all the success in their later lives. I will be forever thankful to them for allowing me to spend a few days observing their lives within a busy school environment, and getting to talk to and understand them more. Literally no amount of reading around a subject can replace real life experience and hearing from those who are truly affected by something, and so I greatly appreciate documentaries such as this and opportunities like placements to fully engage with individuals and try to empathise with them.
Watching a programme like ‘Employable Me’ fills me with hope that the world isn’t actually as cold and cruel as the media portrays. There are lots of positive things to celebrate and in times of darkness, it would work well for us to remember this.
*Thank you to the men who were so open and honest within the documentary, I really do hope you go on to lead successful careers in the area that you enjoy*