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What does it mean to be fulfilled? Think about your life, you want to go out to eat or to the movies or to visit with friends over a cup of coffee…but why do you want to do those things?

A nice dinner out would include some of our favorite foods, favorite beverage and the companionship of someone who makes us happy. It goes beyond the thought of what to eat, it goes to how that food will make us feel. It goes beyond the companionship to the excitement of seeing someone and engaging in stimulating conversation. It’s about choices and how the experience fulfills us.

Sometimes we don’t think about it in depth, but the reality of it is we do things for a reason. Yes, we’re hungry, so you eat, but we also make choices because we want to be satisfied and filled.

Watching a movie can either be a good experience or one we wish we had not experienced. A great movie can leave us satisfied that we were entertained, we learned something or we laughed until our sides hurt…all ways to be fulfilled. A bad movie on the other hand leaves us feeling slightly cheated that there wasn’t any gratification or fulfillment. Would we recommend that experience to someone else? No, because we wouldn’t want them to feel letdown like we did. The lack of fulfillment is like a bad movie!

Coffee out with a group of friends is such fun. Good conversation, laughter, sharing and being social…all key elements to fulfillment. So where does that lead me…to tell you for those with disabilities, it’s very difficult sometimes to get out and be social, to get that much needed sense of fulfillment.

At Echoing Hills, we do our best to make sure outings for individuals take place on a regular basis. We also have echoingConnections programs that bring people together to socialize, be creative and share experiences.

For those of us without disabilities, a shopping trip may be just a time to pick a few things up at the grocery or run a few errands, but when you really think about it, it’s much more than that. We may run in to an old friend, share the latest about our families and catch up on new happenings or we may reminisce about old times. All of these things make our lives richer and fuller…and it’s important. It is just as important for those with disabilities who can sometimes feel isolated and alone.

At Echoing Hills, we realize that all lives have value and purpose and that we all desire to live fulfilled and happy lives. Not a single one of us is considered an accident by our creator. We were all made in his image to be productive pieces in this puzzle we call life. Every one of us has something to offer to others and to the community.

After all, we are all people, not people with disabilities or people without disabilities, but people. The same, with much to offer!

Love. Learn. Worship.

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