Posted by: soulshinemoments | March 10, 2013

Paradigm Shifts

“Your paradigm shifts and then it shifts again and again and again. Then you begin to discover there really are miraculous things going on that most can’t see and won’t believe. But there it is right in front of your eyes.”

On Becoming a Social Worker.

I imagine that much of my blog will be dedicated to writings related to my family and to my becoming a MSW (Masters of Social Work).  This is an ideology that I believe in and that is such a great fit for me.  The Code of Ethics for Social Workers consists of the following seven values: service, social justice, dignity & worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. I am learning to let these values guide my thinking in every day life and not just at work and at school.  What I am trying to say, as my friend and fellow MSW buddy “Rinny” put it, “We are going to Social Work the fuck outta people!” 😉

In short, I see social work as a profession which helps individuals on the process of becoming self-actualized. Once we advocate for individuals basic needs (as according to Maslows hierarchy of needs), people are able to live their best life and the life that was intended for them.  This self-actualization is my goal for myself, my family, my loved ones, and those I work with! Jack likes to poke fun of me and call me a bleeding heart for my ideals…but I can’t help it.  I still believe in the good that’s in this world and I am willing to fight for what I believe in (in a peacefully, loving way, of course…lol).

“What a man can be, he must be.” -Maslow

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The Danger of a Single Story

Another reason I love social work is because of the fact it emphasis that no human being has just a single story about themselves.  They are full of depth, insight, highs, and lows, tribulations and victories.  We cannot really categorize others into something simple and one dimensional.

Here is an example of this that  I wrote in a paper for my first semester about this danger:

____________________________________________________

August 2012

“What do you know about homelessness?” The program manager at the homeless shelter  where I am interning asked me at my interview before I took the intern position working in the women’s and children’s section of the shelter.

Images of a desolate people ran through my head—needle drug users, prostitutes, a people with little to no resources, a people who didn’t know the rules of society or how to behave properly in society, a hopeless people who have chosen the homeless shelter as a last resort. Before I had even responded to the question, I already had an impression and perhaps even a conclusion of what homelessness was and was not. I didn’t verbalize these thoughts to my interviewer and instead responded to the question with a textbook definition on what I knew about homelessness—perhaps a definition I had picked up in a social problems class as an undergraduate.  After I gave this very educated response, I was immediately called out for my textbook answer and told I had a lot to learn.

 I have only been at my internship for two days and my perception of homelessness has already broadened.  I have met individuals from many different walks of life.  I have met a mother who helps her children with their math homework before bedtime each night, a pregnant lady who is looking forward to meeting her baby, teenagers who enjoy checking out the basketballs from the office and shooting hoops with their siblings, a young adult female who has had a smile on her face every time I’ve encountered her and who is excited about taking the classes the shelter has to offer of self-improvement, job training, bible studies.  Of course there are stories of struggle and heartache intermixed in these people’s lives, but also, they are more than just their current circumstances.  They are more complex than any single image of homelessness I had of them.  I am perhaps more similar to them than I am different and by my realizing that is the only way to truly understand and help them.

__________________________________________________

I know that this can be applied to every area and person in my life.  They are full of depth and I must learn to interact with them with humility and compassion.

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