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26th January 2017

Doing what we can

Sometimes we hear about all the bad things happen to people with learning disabilities and their families.

Sometimes we go to difficult meetings where the paperwork is not in easy read and we struggle to understand what is going on.

This makes us think that trying to change the world is hopeless.

Then we heard the story about the hummingbird and the fire. This story was told by Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai.

One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest, all the animals fled their homes and ran away. They felt frightened and powerless as they watched the fire destroy their home.

They thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.

The hummingbird picked up a few drops of water from a stream, went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again.

All the other animals watched in disbelief. Some of them made comments like, "Don't bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, you can't put out this fire."

They said, "What do you think you are doing?" and the hummingbird looked back and said, "I am doing what I can."

When we speak up against the bad things that happen to people with learning disabilities, we are doing what we can.

We are slowly becoming more visible. Because of us, more people know what it is like to have a learning disability .

When we go to difficult meetings, we are doing what we can.

It could be the first time the other people in the meetings have talked to and listened to somebody with a learning disability.

When we inspect services, train professionals, make campaign films, teach other people to travel independently, and speak up for what we want… we are doing what we can.

The world will not change very quickly, but we should all do what we can to make it better.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

My Life My Choice

MLMC is an Oxfordshire based charity with a national profile whose prime objective is to raise the self-esteem and quality of life for people with learning disabilities. They do this by campaigning, and providing volunteering, training, employment and social opportunities for its members. MLMC also work with other organisations to help produce information for people with learning and communication difficulties that is simple and easy to understand. Read more

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