Klaus Schumann and Jay Adams

from Mark Bindner

Sometimes events in our lives demand reflection – this is one of those times. 

My friends, Jay (Mary Jane) and Klaus, are now in Florida. They are physically far from where I am, but part of their spirit is with me every day. It has changed my perspective and given my life additional meaning. And the organization, I Care, was the vehicle for what transpired.

I first met Jay and Klaus a number of years ago on my first trip with I Care to Honduras. Klaus with his funny German accent, and Jay with a unique intellect and insight, were in a makeshift back room in Honduras which they had transformed into a repository for thousands of glasses. They were pouring over a carefully sorted and filed catalog of used glasses to find the prescriptions required for the patient’s prescriptions.

I was immediately intrigued – it all seemed so new and obscure: a foreign country and culture, an unfamiliar occupation….yet underlying it all were people in need of eye exams and glasses, and volunteers making the needs of others their priority. 

So, I joined up, and worked with Jay and Klaus in a number of clinics, and also other work back home to make sure the clinics work as well as possible.

While Jay and Klaus don’t feel they can fulfill the demanding schedule of travel and work that international clinics require at this time, they do not rule it out for the future, and until then are determined to find other ways for I Care to fulfill its mission. They are well aware of the importance of the work. 

This is what I learned from Jay and Klaus:

·       Helping others in need can provide meaning in your own life.

·       The more a person is in need, the more rewarding is your effort.

·       You gain more from the experience than you ever put in. 

·       Your view of the world may be permanently altered, and also your place in it.

All these life lessons were presented inadvertently – made possible simply by Jay and Klaus going about their everyday lives as members of a like-minded community of people: I Care.

However, the impact they have on others, thousands of others, is immeasurable, as is their personal legacy to me.

I realize now they were role models and mentors to me in how to be a more effective human being and provide lasting meaning in one’s life. It is a reciprocal give and take, with no real expectation of return.

Klaus and Jay demonstrate the use of the self to help anonymous strangers with evident need. It is a tremendous feeling for a person to know they made a tangible difference through their conscious effort.

Thanks, Jay and Klaus. You may never read this, but you must know you made a difference… and all that do read this will now know this part of your legacy.