jean vanier on the care of vulnerable people …

… Jean Vanier recently addressed the Canadian Parliament’s Committee on Palliative Care.

” … we are all vulnerable people. Each one of us is important, especially the weakest among us. In our vulnerability we are easily hurt¸ and we have elaborate systems of self protection which keep us from being open with each other. We need each other, and yet we are deeply afraid of this need. Our fear estranges us from our own weakness, and keeps us from exercising the fullness of our humanity in caring for each other, individually and as a society.”

” … we must also be competent professionals, clear about our skills and limits and willing to consult widely about those we serve. However, there is grave danger here that our competence becomes the goal, serving excellence rather than people. When faced with the vulnerability or anguish of another, the forces of anguish within us can be awakened. Without proper support, we quickly protect our own vulnerable humanity. We have many wonderful and creative ways to do this, as many ways as there are people. We may use the compulsion to work to meet the unending need for service, putting the accomplishment of the work above the person cared for.”

… and much more.

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