As he continues to recover from being stabbed, Scott Jones hopes to spread message of hope.
The feel of the water was wonderful.
As he slipped into the pool and attempted to swim for the first time in months, Scott Jones was overwhelmed with how good it felt. It felt normal.
“It was like a moment of beauty,” he said.
For the first time since he was stabbed and left for dead in downtown New Glasgow, he was able to do something physically and have it feel close to the way it had before.
But there is much that still doesn’t feel normal. Jones is trying to learn to walk with leg braces in physiotherapy, but it doesn’t feel like walking should – or at least not like it did before. He still spends more time than he’d like to in a wheelchair – a cruel reminder of what he’s been through.
As he approaches the end of his stay in rehab, he says he seems to have reached a bit of a plateau in his improvement, but hopes that he will be able to see future gains. With spinal injuries, he said it’s hard to know.
“It could be within the year that I keep noticing improvements or it could be scattered.”
There are aspects of his life that Jones can’t change as a result of the attack. But what he can control he’s trying to by not letting the hate that was shown towards him affect how he lives his life or how he treats others. That’s evident in the campaign he’s now working on: Don’t be Afraid, which was established with help from friends.
While lying in the Intensive Care Unit in Halifax, he said he could feel the shock from the community about what had happened to him.
“My reaction to that was, ‘Let’s not get consumed by our fear. Let’s look at it and talk about it and hopefully rid ourselves of our fear.’”
He hadn’t plan then on starting any campaign. It sort of gained momentum on its own. It started with a simple pin with a rainbow and the message. Then it was spread through Facebook and photos with the help from a friend in Quebec. Now, Jones hopes it’ll become even more.
While primarily the Don’t Be Afraid campaign is to help deal with homophobia, he believes it can branch into others areas of life. Jones hopes that people don’t get the idea that he’s somehow not afraid of anything. That simply isn’t true.
“I know that I’m afraid,” he said. “I’m afraid of what my life is now, but I have to live with that and not let that fear bleed into other areas of my life.”
Everyone has fear, he said, whether they realize it or not. What is important, he said, is that it’s dealt with properly.
What he likes about the don’t be afraid message is that it doesn’t specifically say what it’s about, so it gives those who spot someone wearing a pin or something with “Don’t Be Afraid” on it to stop and start a conversation about it.
On March 8, he’ll hosting a Don’t Be Afraid event at Summer Street Industries to help spread his message. It’ll feature some actors who have put together a skit that talks about the subtleties of homophobia in society. He said they’ll also have speakers including himself and a couple of Iranian refugees who came here as part of the Rainbow Refugees program.
“It’ll all be focusing on fear and the fear that we have in regards to homophobia and also types of fear,” he said.
Admission will be by donation.
“I’m very, very excited,” Jones said. “I think it’s a dialogue that we all need to start with our family and friends.”
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Want to go?
Don’t Be Afraid New Glasgow
Time: 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., March 8
Location: Summer Street Industries
Description: An interactive event that will explore the effects of homophobia in society. The event will mix various art forms- acting, music, photography, and speech- to start a dialogue about fear.
Cost: Admission by donation.