Listening to Gilly
Gilbert Cabral is our Good Will Ambassador and our Volunteers With Disabilities Advocate. He was the first volunteer to register with GiftsToGive in 2009 and has donated over 6,000 hours of his time. Gilly works three days per week answering phones, coordinating volunteers and making everyone here feel better about themselves and others. Gilbert Cabral is a bright and shining light and sets an example for what is the best in us. He truly inspires us to be better and to be more connected and loving. Last week he gave us copies of a poem and essay he wrote in 2002. We think it is even more relevant today and we want to share it with you.
“Look Beyond the first impression, The first impression is what you see on the surface. What you see is not all of me, What I see- is not all of thee. So in looking beneath and beyond the surface, We can see the good in the heart, mind, and soul.”
“Being different is neither good nor bad. We are all unique. Ignorance and intolerance are part of poor judgment. Very young children can easily be forgiven for their innocence. Adolescents need to have been taught tolerance and not make those misjudgments. Adults, particularly in public situations, have little excuse for behavior which can cause hurtful feelings. People need to take responsibility for themselves and others so people will be judged fairly.
Sometimes people may see someone and judge that person by his or her appearance. They may see a disabled person who has a limp or awkward movement. A child may ask, “Why do you walk like that?” Sometimes a person in a position to help- doesn’t- because he/she thinks, “What does he know? What can he do?” People often judge by what they see on the surface. They need to look beyond.
A person is often judged by how he or she expresses himself or herself. Others may say, “He’s a good talker,” or “He doesn’t make sense.” Someone may have a speech impediment. Some may have good ideas but may not be able to express himself clearly. I agree with what others have advised about judging. First, be careful of opinions expressed by others because sometimes they are not just.
Judge a person for yourself not by other peoples’ judgment. Second, don’t judge a given situation until you have all the facts. A lot of this applies to other segments of society not just the disabled; the stigmatized, oppressed, and persecuted. Sometimes when being seen as different you can be denied opportunities in the areas of education, housing, and employment. Some people say you should not judge. But human nature being what it is we do judge. We need to think before we judge not judge before we think. We as a society must be fair and just to those we see as different.” Gilbert Cabral, 2002
Contact Gilly at – [email protected] or 508-717-8715