Today I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at a social service agency’s annual breakfast in honor of direct service providers for the elderly and children and adults with disabilities.
It is possible to do something for others while doing something for yourself. In fact, I would argue that the most effective folks in positions to support others should be doing this work, at least partially, for selfish reasons. The pride and quality that goes along with a proper combination of selfless and selfish motivations is frankly preferable to people who truly believe they are doing this work “for those poor disabled folks.”
I believe that when you can admit you are doing this kind of work at least partially for yourself, you are acknowledging that your client is offering you something of essential value in the relationship; That they are a whole person and a peer in the relationship. That it isn’t a one-way street.
Sort of like all friendships should be.
If you are interested, ask me about my Breaking Bad analogy.
And thanks again to all of the direct service providers who have helped, and continue to help, my family.