5 questions with... Marek Plura
Marek Plura (EPP, PL) is a member of Parliament’s employment and social affairs committee.
Marek Plura | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
1. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
Krystyna Bochenek, the vice Marshal of Senate (the chamber of Polish Parliament) who died in a tragic plane crash in Smolensk in 2010. I met her when she was a radio journalist specialising in social and health issues. When she became a member of the Polish Parliament, I often asked her for actions that would enable Polish law to make life easier for people with disabilities. Krystyna convinced me that I, myself should become a politician and that I should be the one fighting for changes as I would be more authentic and effective than others.
2. What one item would you save from your house or apartment if it was on fire?
I would probably take the Icon of the Holy Family, which my wife and I brought home from a trip to the Holy Land. This icon symbolises family, which is what I value most in life, and is of course a memory of wonderful experience.
3. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
Considering my physical condition and my severe disability, it was a great surprise to many people that 10 years ago I was elected and became a Member of Sejm (chamber of Polish Parliament). There is also the fact that I started a family and decided to live independently without support from the institution (social welfare house in which I previously lived). This is also a great astonishment to people I meet.
4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
I am most relaxed when watching fantasy and science fiction movies with my son, or during family walks with our dog Sweety.
5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?
Jean Vanier’s ‘Community of joy and forgiveness’. I read it as a teenager. For me it was a romantic vision of my life with other people in a community where disability is no longer important. In pursuit of this ideal, I reached out to people outside my family and immediate surroundings. This book inspired me and gave me the power to go out into the world and try to do good things for others and with others. It also showed me how to be useful in today’s world and, as a Christian, how to draw the joy and strength to overcome crises.
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