Hope: One-Word Inspiration
During the month of November, I’m participating in a blogging event where I’ll publish a note each weekday in response to a prompt I receive.
For the first prompt, I was asked to share why I write. On the second day, I was prompted to create a list. Since any list would do, and I could tailor my responses to fit my blog’s purposes, I decided to share 15 things I’ve learned while working for social justice.
Today’s prompt is titled “One-Word Inspiration”. The idea of this prompt is to choose a word from a short list of words, and write about what thoughts come to mind when you think of the word.
I’m sharing the short list of words that were provided below, and encourage you to try this exercise yourself:
While each of those words evoke a strong response from me, the word that speaks most to me at this moment is hope.
One of the ways that I use myself, and allow myself to be used is in the arena of education as it relates to social justice, and I am feeling particularly hopeful right now.
As it relates to Social Work and other helping vocations, we as students, community members and practitioners must devote ourselves to continual critical examination of who we are and what we bring to into our work, and it is in the practice of engaging in that very personal work with others where I have found that I can make a great contribution.
I have taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level in schools of Social Work involving Multicultural Social Work Practice, Intergroup Dialogue, and other topics in Macro Social Work, and I absolutely love it.
I had a great class last night. Students took risks, dug deep, and took actions that were demonstrative of a personal commitment to not only investigate the ways in which they are oppressed, but also to investigate, and own the ways in which they are complicit with oppressive systems so that they can change directions, and learn ways to use the privileged parts of themselves to work toward equity.
Nights like last night served as an affirmation that I am serving in a way that is fulfilling to me, and beneficial to others, but more importantly at this moment, nights like last night inspired a deep sense of hopefulness.
I was reminded that; even though many personal, social, and institutional challenges continue to persist, so do those who wish to dedicate their lives to making things right.
The work continues, but I’m hopeful today.
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW