When having conversations to promote peace, we also need to support one another.
As I wrote before, being a social worker means incorporating the personal and professional. Usually, this feels good. Having a sense of integrity and purpose that flows throughout the day is deeply satisfying. The desire for this type of living is what often motivates people to work in this profession in the first place.
Sometimes, though, it’s overwhelming and can lead to burnout.
The internal call to action begins to feel like an unwelcome obligation. Attempts to distract are thwarted by clients who want to talk about the event. Sometimes those clients make intolerant statements, and we’re not sure how to proceed.
Since the bombings in Paris, I’ve focused on supporting other advocates for social justice by listening to what they need. This could be by sharing information or resources or by supporting someone’s initiative. Sometimes this means taking a break from the conversation all together.
I’ve also tried to listen to what I need. Writing this short series was a good way for me to be intentional and balanced in my interactions. The event changed how I saw the world and, sometimes, the people in my life. In between the last post and today’s, I had to take a break. Just as we can set boundaries with others, we can set them with ourselves.
Research and learning is something that helps me dilute the high emotional charge that results from events like last week’s. Subscribe to this blog to see future posts that result from this research.