Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I taught a class this week that brought what beading means to me right to the fore. My students were mental health patients. Age range was 20-50. I've taught a lot of classes, but to see their faces while they were concentrating so hard was enlightening. I explained to them what beading does for me. Both of the young men in my class commented on how relaxing it was for them. All I taught were basic bead embroidery stitches, but you would have thought I'd given them a gold mine. If just one of my ten students gets the enjoyment out of beading that I do, it will be well worth the time and effort.

These are people who have very little in their lives. Minimal family contact, if any and no one who really cares about them other than our staff. To us they are family. A couple of them even call me Grandma. That's okay with me. If it helps them to have an extra Grandma, who am I to complain?

To be able to share with them the joy of beading is phenomenal. As soon as they learn the basic stitches, I will set them free on their first project. I want to photograph them and show them how proud I am of them. There are some things in this world that are so right.

12 comments:

Brenda said...

Marvelous story, thank you for sharing.

Kiwi Ellen said...

Great story Arline, you are one of the truely great people in this world

Karen H. said...

made my day. Thanks!

abeadlady said...

Thank you for your comments. These people are the forgotten people of this world. If we ignore them, they don't exist.

To anyone with compassion in their hearts, these folks cry out for love. Most of them have never had anyone to care about them.

Yes, they have problems, and behaviors that are not like "normal" people. Who is normal in this world? They are people like all of us. They are no different in their needs and desires.

Sharing beading with them helps them realize that they have the capacity to create within themselves. What a gift to the world that is. Every creative person is a gift to all of us.

Sorry, I get on my soapbox sometimes, but I feel very strongly about people with mental health problems.
Arline

Robin said...

It's a great soap box Arline, and you are obviously a very good teacher. Thank you for the contribution you are making.

Hélène H said...

I have been deeply moved by your post.

I think what you're doing is really great and I feel happy for these special students who have just discovered the joy of beading.

coral-seas said...

Well done, Arline, and thank you for sharing a little sunshine in my otherwise grey day

CA

beadbabe49 said...

wonderful to hear what you're doing...if you need any extra supplies I have a few beads I could send your way...just email me with your needs and address and I'll see what I can do.

Craig Staude said...

WOW! Beading can change lives. Those little sparkly colorful beads are truly helpful in guiding our emotions! It is so soothing and theraputic! I love it, too! Thanks for sharing your story!

KV said...

This is a great, great project, Arline. So often, no one makes time for people in these situations let alone teach them something wonderful and give them a source of pride and wellbeing.

I am sure you are the brightest spot in their day or week when you share your talents with them.

Bravo for you!


Kathy V in NM

freebird said...

That is so neat Arline. Those little beads are like sunshine to me, why not to others? I hope they keep on enjoying them. I think they know how much you like both them and the beads and I'll bet that makes a big difference in their lives too.

The Lone Beader said...

I agree. Sharing the joy of beading is a wonderful feeling=:) Thanks for stoppin by today.