Finding Purpose In The Worlds Most Challenging Contexts

The world can be an un-peaceful and frightening place to be.  I was touched a few weeks ago at the time of the Paris attacks to have been contacted by several of our volunteers to see if, living in France, I was OK. I was. I was, I was on holiday in Greece at the time and only that day had been on a beach littered with life jackets from the related migration of refugees.  It all made the worldly troubles seem very close and connected.

I spent some quiet time on that beach sitting and looking at those piles of life jackets.  Thinking about the journey of the people that had been wearing them, where they were going and where they were now.  It felt wrong to be on holiday. Looking across the water to the distant shores of Turkey I found it difficult to contemplate that nearly 700,000 people have made this journey across the waters from Turkey to Greece this year.   I wondered if any of them were our students?

We have students from many conflict affected areas. Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza. They have no other way to access continuing education, to develop professionally.  They have no access to books or courses, topic experts never visit their country to deliver courses, even their internet access can be difficult at times. Yet their thirst to learn is huge.

In this troubled world I find some small comfort in knowing that we can and are doing something to help.  We do our best to provide a useful resource in Physiopedia and we will continue to deliver courses that everyone can access and learn from.  We hope that this knowledge feeds down into clinical practice and the health of individuals in need is improved.

I am writing this post on the day of Thanksgiving in the United States, although I know it will not be published until next week. However, I really want to express how thankful I am to our students who live in challenging contexts, you give me a purpose to work hard.  I am also thankful to everyone who contributes to the Physiopedia project, whether you write or update pages, help out in other voluntary roles or just share our social media posts, we couldn’t do this without you.

Thank you!