Frontline Initiative Spirituality

What does spirituality mean to you?


Noel Querrie-Minor is a DSP working for ARCA in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Spirituality means different things to different people. Spirituality can even serve a different purpose or be used differently by each person you support. Yet, no matter how different each persons definition of spirituality, we all share the right to hold our own beliefs. With that common understanding, DSPs are called upon to provide support to people of many faiths and spiritual beliefs. How will you ethically provide these supports? Here are some other thoughts on these issues from DSPs, parents, and self-advocates.

How do you define the word spirituality?

“I guess it’s more of a state of mind for me — a matter of ethics and morals rather than that of religion. Especially regarding those we support, viewing them as spiritual beings, and nothing less.“ – Sara, DSP

“Spirituality is what you believe in. It does not mean you have a certain religion or that you believe in the supernatural.“ – Kathryn, DSP

“Spirituality means believing in God and having faith that God will pull you through the rough times in your life. Spirituality helps you grow closer to God if you pray and have faith in him. You believe that he really exists.“ – Joaquin, self-advocate

How do you define spirituality in your own life?

“To be the most ethical and spiritual person I can be. I mean, I talk to God daily and ask His help in this: for Him to help me to be the best person I can be at my job, and in supporting Robert, as well as other individuals I work with each day.“ – Sara, DSP

“It has helped me get through rough times. It has helped me get happy when I am down. It helps me cope with life because I have trouble coping with life. Without God; I’d be nothing.“ – Joaquin, self-advocate

Do you believe it is ethical to impose your spiritual values on others?

“No, you should not impose spiritual values and beliefs on anyone. They should be able to find it themselves. They will have a need to find it themselves. People should be given an opportunity to be exposed to it if they choose and pursue in the direction they wish. “ – Parent

“No, because that’s like forcing someone to believe what you believe. I do not believe that is a good thing to do. I love my religion but there are some things I don’t agree with. We all believe what we believe and have differences in opinions – especially when it has to do with spirituality.“ – Joaquin, self-advocate

“I do not believe it is ethical to impose anything on anyone, especially your beliefs. You can certainly support someone, be a mentor, as well as lead by example. But to impose your beliefs onto someone else, in my mind, is definitely unethical.“ – Sara, DSP