Persons with Epilepsy Advocacy and Empowerment

Our Art Studies teacher told us we are going to have a talk about epilepsy, which I know nothing about. Science is not really a thing I am an expert at—which is obvious because I preferred studying in an art school—but the impression of epilepsy is different. I was first interested with it since it was new to me and discoveries are my sweethearts. Also, I consider the planned program as advantageous because on that day, we would not have regular academic classes, and we will be provided free snacks by our school. The title of the program which is ‘People with Epilepsy Advocacy and Empowerment’ gave me a hint for the reason why they are going to discuss epilepsy with us; to let us understandpeople with epileptics better, help empower epileptics, and advocate empowerment for them. But I do not know why they thought students like us could help in their mission.

In every seminar I am attending, I always have a hard time in restricting my actions like by just sitting for a number of hours. During the lecture, I was really forcing myself to listen. Maybe my eagerness to acquire knowledge has a boundary. The lecture was informative yet unadorned, and I think that is not really my type. It was believed that the most important thing to get from the lecture is what to do if we witness epileptics having attacks, what the different kinds of epilepsy attacks are, and what is to like about them. I suspected myself if I ever experience attacks like what the epileptics have, and thought if I were just denying to myself I have been attacked by epilepsy, which I think was funny. I was amazed the minute I heard that some great thinkers and artists like Charles Dickens and Alexander the Great have epilepsy. Upon knowing it, I feel like I also want to be epileptic to be as good as the artists I look up to. I do not take it seriously, though. That is only the first thing that came into my mind. The question how they know those geniuses have epilepsy– which remained unanswered until the end of the program– made me feel unsatisfied.

During the workshop in which we were grouped according to our art fields, we were told to showcase a performance; something that will advocate epilepsy awareness and empowerment, I think. Improvisation is the best way to act without a script– we just need our story and character clear to each one of us. So first, we need to brainstorm. But good thing, our workshop leader already had ideas in mind. Our leader organized theatre activities for us and left us uninformed about what we are going to showcase which excites me more. What we did in the performance was something I did not think we will do. I just think we could do better if only time is not limited.After all, I was delightful.

Many realizations came into my mind when the program has come to an end. We must not panic when epilepsy attacks a person. We must wait for him to go back to normal, and send him to the hospital if he remains attacked after 5 minutes. I also learned more about the artists’ role in the society. I felt pressured when I realized as a student artist, I need to know any issue in the world in order to succeed in our goal. Artists voice truths or facts– self-evident or not, noticeable or unnoticeable—through art. Artistshelp the mass understand and discover the issues in any community, especially the subtle one. Art can also be a form of entertainment. Entertainment touches the ache buried deep inside us. Entertainment heals our soul. Artists are as good as architects, teachers, engineers, scientists, etc. who provides us material things, and who always use the right side of their brain. The artists and the employers have specific role in the society. Therefore the artists should not be underestimated for always using the left side of their brain.

Mr. Victor Emmanuel Nadera, our school director,was actually the one who said that the artists heal a person’s soul. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, things that are needed by our soul like comfort and love cannot be grasped if food, shelter, and clothing can also not be grasped. So I am wondering if art is of less importance than that of architecture, business, etc. However, there is something that I am really sure of. Memoirs from experiences last longer than any material things in the world. Unlike material things, a memoir is something that cannot be stolen from us. Surely art is one of the memoirs that are kept only inside us. Art is an experience.

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