Decisions are made because they “feel right”. We may make pro and con lists, gather facts and information but at the end of the day it’s because our gut said to go one direction. My previous blog started my journey into the “Why” (as inspired by Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why).
Here is part 2 of this journey.
My childhood “Why” started by using the metaphor of the song “This Little Light of Mine”. I had a fierce capability to protect my light and remain true to myself. This experience would describe the egocentric age of childhood and into college when I started looking out into the world.
After college I had the opportunity to be a full-time volunteer for a year and work with people living with AIDS and other life challenges like homelessness, addiction and trauma. This was at the time when HIV treatment drugs were just starting to get powerful enough to decrease the rapid death rate. There was tremendous grief from years of people dying rapidly. My job was to coordinate volunteer drivers with clients and to carry a load of clients on my care team. This is where I first really started to look for the light in other people.
In the song, “This Little Light of Mine” there are verses about external means trying to extinguish our inner light (coving with a bushel or being blown out). For the clients I worked with, the “bushels” and “winds” were daunting. They could literally be covered with dirt, wearing ill-fitting damaged clothing, bruised from fights or needle use. There was also the less obvious but equally powerful grief, separation from family for being gay or sick, depression, bi-polar disorder and so on.
Yet I knew there was a light in these people. There was a place in them that was whole, complete, loving, and worth loving and being connected with. I had very little skill in being a “care manager”. But I did learn to look deeply into people, to see and speak to their core.
Seeing people as their light has carried with me into teaching, parenthood, as an employer, and every other interaction with humans. It is easy to see the broken craggy parts of others and ourselves. One may even say our culture habituates us to focus on these parts. However I choose to look to the part that is at each person’s core, to bring that light bright. From there, anything is possible.
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