Living with Vulnerablility

Living with Vulnerablility

by Sr. Siobhan O’Keefe SHJM                                                      Ireland                    17.04.2924

LIfe is fragile….and we sometimes feel its fragility at the most unexpected moments.
It may be something as ordinary as an incorrect name on a computer-generated document that causes distress and unexpected extortionate penalty charges.

Technology glitches occur leaving people vulnerable and unsure of where they stand when dealing with large corporate organisations. An increasing number of people are referred to websites, chat boxes and automated telephone lines. Queues of hundreds of people may be waiting, and a robotic voice says, ‘you are number 106 in the queue.’ There is no human person to listen and relieve distress and to provide a positive and helpful solution. The person may be left feeling invisible, frustrated and angry before the might of the computer. On the occasion when a member of staff is available at a ‘Help Desk’ negotiation can be extremely difficult when staff are left to deal with distressed customers and seemingly inflexible company policies which appear to serve the best interests of the company, not the customer.

This form of ‘service’ is contrary to the Gospel of compassionate care expressed by Jesus in all of his ministry. He reached out in sensitivity and love to listen, respond and restore to fulness of life all who called to him. For him there was no on-line form filling, chat boxes or social media. His response was, “What do you want me to do for you?” so that the felt expressed needs of the person could be met and their spirit restored to fulness of life.

As his followers we are asked to be respectful in our dealings with each other, to be gracious and compassionate and to challenges all forms of injustice. He who was vulnerable will show us how to live in this way so that the crushed reed is never broken. (Matthew 12:20)