There was an interview with Vanier who works with the disabled ---pysically, mentally, etc. He tells some of the things he has learned......I like this section which I give below. One of the greatest things that men desire is to be loved. (I don't agree with a lot of Vanier's theology, but I like some of the insights he has. He is the founder of L'Arche:
Mr. Vanier: Yes, I come back to the reality of pleasure and to the reality of what is my deepest desire and what is your deepest desire. And what — and somewhere, the deepest desire for us all is to be appreciated, to be loved, to be seen as somebody of value. But not just seen — and Aristotle makes a difference between being admired and being loved. When you admire people, you put them on pedestals. When you love people, you want to be together. So really, the first meeting I had with people with disabilities, what touched me was their cry for relationship. Some of them had been in a psychiatric hospital. Others — all of them had lived pain and the pain of rejection. One of the words of Jesus to the, to Peter —and you find this at the end of the gospel of Saint John — "Do you love me?"
Ms. Tippett: "Do you love me?"
Mr. Vanier: So, thus, the cry of God saying, "Do you love me?" and the cry of people who have been wounded, put aside, who have lost trust in themselves, they've been considered as mad and all the rest. And their cry is, "Do you love me?" And it's these two cries that come together. ................
Mr. Vanier: We are very fragile in front of the future. Accidents and sicknesses is the reality. We are born in extreme weakness and our life will end in extreme weakness. So this, people don't want to hold on to that. They want to prove something. They want security. They want to have big bank accounts and all that sort of stuff. But then also, a whole lots of fear is within us.
Ms. Tippett: Yes.
Mr. Vanier: We are a frightened people. And, of course, the big question is, why are we so frightened of people with disabilities? Like a woman who said to me just recently, asked me where I — what I was doing. And I said that I had the privilege of living with people with disabilities. And she said, 'Oh, but I could never work with people.' And I said, 'Why not?' And she said, 'Well, I am frightened of them.' It touches very — and I believe we're in front of a mystery of the human reality and people who are very deeply disfigured in their face, in their body. And so — and it's the fault of nobody. It's a reality that is there. And maybe we can work things out and discover what gene it is and so on. But the history of humanity is a history of people being born extremely fragile because sickness and death is part of our — of our reality.
Ms. Tippett: You told a story, when I heard you speak at St. John's University years ago, about very happy members of your community. Do you remember that story?
Mr. Vanier: Oh, yes, yes. Yes, I was sitting and there was a man who was a bit glum like a lot of people, a bit glum. And but, and anyway, there was a knock on the door. And before I could say "Come in," Jean Claude walked in and Jean Claude technically would be Down syndrome. And Jean Claude shook my hand and laughed, and shook the hand of the other fellow and laughed, and went out laughing. And the man that had been in my office looked at me and said, 'Isn't it sad, children like that?' And I mean, he, what was sad was that he was totally blind. He didn't see that Jean Claude was happy.