If there’s anything I’ve learned from group assignments or working in a team, it’s that chance favours the prepared mind’ and the prepared mind, I believe, is one who takes initiative.
So on Wednesday, I decided to pop in to the Exodus Youth Worx Rockdale centre and see what the team was up to.
In my earnest attempt to ‘take initiative’, I had walked right into a workshop, completely disrupting it for what felt like a good minute and a half, partly excusing myself and partly deciding if I should accept the invitation to ‘take a seat’.
“uh… sorry…yea umm… ok, are you sure???”
The workshop was not unlike a training session, a guide for the team members which would assist their efficiency as case workers and as overall members of a youth organisation.
After feeling slightly out of place at first, I began to tune into some of the discussion points that the speaker was addressing. I felt some of these were pertinent, not just to an organisation but to any community or self-described support network.
The words “I understand” can express empathy or be a sincere attempt to let the other person know that they are not alone.
But it turns out, we may very well not understand what someone else is going through.
We may pretend to see things we can’t, but all we’re really doing is building a road map that has no relation to the territory.
To borrow a familiar idiom, you would be the ‘blind leading the blind’.
So what then? How do you help? How do you build an environment for people who live in a world you simply don’t?
I’m not in a position to give advice, but I think I can make some inferences based on my light intrusion into the team workshop that might help begin to address these complex questions:
- While assumptions can help us make decisions based on past experiences, they don’t always apply.
- ‘Help’ isn’t a universal formula.
- You won’t always understand, but you can choose to listen.
IN OTHER NEWS
A couple of guys are designing and printing t-shirts on premises.
Check out the latest bellow. They’re not available online, but you can pop in and chat with the guys who made them and maybe treat yourself to some gear.