My visitors today

Thursday 13 August 2009


"The one-day-of-passion flower" by Susie Mallett, August 2009

The love of my life, my bike, is at the workshop this week. This meant that when I was coming home from work on the bus and tram yesterday my eyes and hands were free to read and write.
What I wrote on the tram relates closely to my previous posting.

Since I was travelling to work by public transport for the first time in months, I had forgotten to bring anything to read so later, at work, I picked up a copy of the local MS rag that had arrived this week and stuffed it into the side of my rucksack for the journey home.

This is a quarterly newspaper produced by DMSG (Mittelfrankon), the German MS society’s local branch. It is called Mach Mit! ('Take Part') and, except for the always-a pleasure-to-read editorial by Martina Dismond Dipl.Soz.Ped.(FH), it is written entirely by people with MS.

If I had been on time with my phone call I could have advertised my conductive groups in the magazine. Most of the members of my groups have discovered Conductive Education through the MS society, either through this magazine or through talks and demonstrations that I have given at various meetings and self-help groups.

This time I missed the printer's deadline, but the next two groups should be full up anyway if it isn’t too hot and illness is kept at bay.

What news of MS?

Dr Merton, a much-respected doctor who was in charge at a local rehabilitation centre for MS patients, among others, until five years ago, is returning to the area. I guess that many of his former patients will be making the journey to hear him give a lecture on the chronic form of multiple sclerosis and the plasticity of the brain.

This doctor had been very interested in introducing Conductive Education into his clinic. A colleague and I were on the point of setting the date for the first sessions when he left. We were never able to convince his successor to continue this work with us.

There is also news of the activities of various self-help groups in the area, and articles describing holidays that were perfect for wheelchair-users, clothing that helps keep one cool (, and an article about discovering and using one’s own strengths and abilities, inspired by the words used as a slogan by the American President Barack Obama, “Yes, we can!”

There are advertisements for various walks, rides, climbing adventures, breathing-therapy classes, Yoga and Qi-gong classes.

Passion on the road to life

As always my favourite and final read is the editorial by Martina Dismond. I have met this lady several times but I only really know her from reading these editorials. They always touch my soul.

In this issue, she writes on inspiration, passion, enthusiasm, about being enthralled, a subject close to my heart!

Passion that sparks passion

The German word is Begeisterung, the state of being begeistert. I have often written that I am begeistert by my work, because I often am. I am also begeistert by many other things, which produces an enthrallment which can spark of Begeisterung in others. Martina writes about this too in her article.

She quotes the Dalai Lama, who says that, when we really want to make changes, we have to be inspired by what we are doing. Begeisterung sparking begeisterung, as I wrote above. The inspired talk inspiring action.

Without my Begeisterung my work just wouldn’t work.


She also writes of finding the balance, not crossing the line, so that this enthusiasm needed to achieve is not replaced by fanaticism, intolerance and stubbornness. I think that we all know that, if this line is crossed, we loose our audience, no one listens any more, our work just won’t work.

She writes of that spark of inspiration that we have in our souls, that we need to be creative, to become moved and motivated to do something. Being begeistert, inspired, enthralled and passionate, creates a buoyancy in our souls.

Albert Schweitzer wrote that passing years cause a shrivelling of the skin but the renunciation of passion, of enthusiasm, causes a shrivelling of the soul.

How right he was.

Make smooth the way

Thank you, Martina Dismond, for this as-ever inspiring editorial. She writes about the spark that we need for the poem to be written, for the new cake to be baked, for the surprise party to be organised. She has provided the spark for this posting with words that have struck a chord and remind me of my own life, and András Petö’s.

She reminds me of the most important thing that we conductors can do for parents considering conductive upbringing for their disabled child. We can pave the road and through our enthusiasm make it a less bumpy, less difficult route, we can inspire, create, motivate and bring perhaps a little hope.

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