Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Big Little Things

Creator: n/a
Date: November 1933
Publication: The Polio Chronicle
Source: Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation Archives

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There is a great need for centers for the study and treatment of "polio" all over the country. At present there are over 300,000 persons afflicted with infantile paralysis in the United States. Only a small number of these can be taken care of in the few centers over the country.


One of the greatest things about such centers is the benefit to morale, where patients can mix and see all types of handicaps. Where one hasn't the use of his arms to any great extent, he learns to do as much as possible with what he has. One who has lost the use of his legs learns to work without them. One "polio" learns to help another and acquires a spirit of "help others rather than be helped."


A "polio" at home expects help from the family at all times. He is looked upon as helpless with sympathy given on all sides. He should get away from this. He can't expect to go through life that way. A day will come when he must live his own life. Isn't it much better to be independent than to depend on others?


Did you ever have a habit that you thought embodied the nth degree of efficiency, only to see someone do it with half the effort? Did you ever have a routine task that seemed impossible without assistance, only to chance on someone with a fraction of your ability doing it easily, because they new how? It is the mastery of many little things which makes the positive change in morale in a center where polios live together twenty-four hours a day.


Other agencies may have greater economic justification at times, but for most polios and for a certain period, the center where polios are together in residence, with the dominant aim of physical reclamation, has an undisputed place. We need more such centers.