It seems pretty obvious. The right kind of people can inspire and motivate you and make most hard work pleasant. The wrong kind of people can give you nightmares that will haunt you for the next 25 years. Some people should not work with disabilities, but then some people should not work with other people to begin with. As a discussion about a stimulating environment and how looking good has always made me feel a little better about myself evolved into a debate on inner and outer beauty, Andrew Sutton encouraged me to be more explicit and upfront about some spiritual experiences I have experienced. I've written about it before. I've had some pretty awful things happen to me when I was having surgeries in Polish hospitals when I was six years old. I was in a cast from the waist down unable to move, at the mercy of nurses to bring me anything from a bedpan to water, and trust me you get thirsty. I called and called and no one would come and I remember being told to pee in the bed. Do you know what does to a person, being so hopeless and alone? My parents were not allowed to be with me other than on the weekends during visitation hours. The only human contact you'd have was other kinds, crying with loneliness and pain and the hospital personnel, who thought of you as a burden getting in the way of a smooth quiet shift. My mom was concerned about my spastic right hand and asked the nurses to watch it and adjust it. So they just tied it to a bed railing because they didn't want to be bothered. All these years later I still remember it today so you can tell it was pretty traumatic. First and foremost it didn't need to be. It didn't have to be as cold, mean and distant. A little humanity goes a long way. And I always wondered how do people get this way. Do you start with passion and compassion when you're young and full of energy and just disengage over time? Do you just see too much misery and pain every night over a period of 20, 30 years for a human being to bare? Maybe it's a natural human reaction to grow indifferent? Is it also because everyone around you acts that way too? At what point do you look at people like they are a sack of potatoes? Is it the power struggle? Is it how some of the patients are bed ridden and rely on you for everything and some of the tasks you need to perform are not pretty? Perhaps there's no love in routine, perhaps there's no compassion in having to clean up somebody who just soiled himself. Maybe one day I'll understand. I'm still surprised that with some of the things I witnessed or that happen to me I didn't spend 20 years in therapy. Perhaps it isn't fair to compare Polish nurses to Conductors from the Hungarian Peto Institute- Mostly young energetic women who were there guiding children with Cerebral Palsy through rehabilitation. Warm, loving and kind. I have never experienced spiritual ugliness there and it did allow me to heal. When you don't have to worry about being in pain and mistreated you can actually focus on growing confident and becoming independent. But then, to be fair, they don't see some of the things a nurse experiences. People after severe surgeries that are unable to move, needy, shocking and also aesthetically disturbing. I also don't know what happens if they spent 20- 30 years in a position or place they end up hating. Most women working with kids directly were younger. The older ones were there also but mostly to advise and supervise others. Maybe Peto wanted to harvest this youth and enthusiasm as essential to his method. But do we always stay this way? How do you not lose the passion.I don't know what happens to human spirit over time. I don't think we're born ugly. Maybe it's something we become. But remember this: kids are impressionable. The ugliness I've experienced had branded and added to the trauma in a way it didn't have to. It was the human contact that made the whole experience so much worse and why?