At the age of 23, Kim Heinrich does not yet feel ready to take on such a responsible position as the Commissioner for the Disabled. But whom she would appoint as her advisor in this case and why the student appreciates unconditional honesty, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Kim Heinrich Age: 23 City: Braunschweig, Germany Occupation: student for social work Impairment: physically disabled
Kim Heinrich: The clumsiness of my mother, the sarcasm of my great love, my friends, children, the sun, flowers, a good joke, my own promises, my favorite professor at university, my bumblebee tights, my best friend dancing, my own scatterbrains, grimaces, beautifully written postcards...
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Kim Heinrich: I am a person who likes to do what she wants and actually always gets what she wants. Not because I am spoiled or my life is so easy, but because I can fight. When I hesitate to do things that I actually want to do, I have gotten into the habit of first questioning and sorting out my emotional world. When I have done this, the fear is already a little less. The next step is to talk to someone I love with all my heart and express my fear. Shared fear is only half as great. And when all else fails, it's time for three hours of continuous cuddling. At the moment there is nothing I always wanted to do, only many things I will do.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Kim Heinrich: My mother and my life partner. Because through these two people I was allowed to experience unconditional honesty and unconditional love. I have rarely found this in my life. Because there were these two people, and fortunately many others who think and deal with me the way they do, I was able to build up self-confidence and became strong to be able to live my everyday life according to my own ideas. Love is the greatest support for me. Love is also a gift, which many people in their environment take for granted nowadays. I do not do this and therefore I can be happy every day anew when love meets me.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Kim Heinrich: I must admit that this is a big question that I have to think about before I answer. I certainly respect the responsibility that I would then bear. To be honest, I wouldn't feel up to the task yet, because I'm just about to find out for myself what I expect from life. I just think that if you know where you stand yourself, you can take on great responsibility bit by bit.
But I would probably have advertising campaigns for more humanity and charity and less profitability and egoism. Then I would appoint Raúl Krauthausen as my personal advisor, because he has good views on issues that I would be overwhelmed with for the time being. He would certainly encourage me to have more confidence in myself as the Commissioner for the Disabled; I know that. But I think my time is not yet ripe. That's why I say and do what I can represent with a clear conscience and learn a little more before I make any big statements.
Humanity is very important to the 23-year-old, as is the human quality of making mistakes, but also learning from them.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Kim Heinrich: As a future social worker, I think it is a natural desire of mine to make the world a little bit better in many ways. Sometimes I still have to learn that with my impatient streak, it will not happen overnight. But we can start with small things, for example by smiling at strangers for no reason or something similar. Then I often look into many baffled faces. Maybe that's because people wonder how a stranger can come to smile at them warmly. In a society like today's we are much too busy with ourselves, I think. So it is important to me to do little things for others from time to time. Just like that! Because it makes me happy.
I would like to be...
Kim Heinrich: ...someone who is able to make decisions in a humane way, both in his professional and private life.
Furthermore, I would like to be a mummy someday and maybe have written one or two books that I know I could touch a few people with their content.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Kim Heinrich: To why I still haven't received a letter from Hogwarts. Sometimes I feel that with the support of my friends and my mother, seemingly difficult tasks are being performed as if by magic. The question of how I manage to do all the things I have done with my disability is still there for me every now and then. My dear friend Samuel Koch gives a nice answer to this question by answering: "Not alone!"
What else I wanted to say...
Kim Heinrich: Often enough I find it hard to believe in myself, so I spend a lot of time doubting myself. I think everyone is fallible, but we can learn from our mistakes. So it can't hurt to believe in yourself more often, because I want to learn.