Blog Post

Social work is a ‘lifestyle’

After stressed with my own difficulties, being a social activist has helped me make constructive changes to my life.

Being a social activist was not my first choice, but it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. In my childhood I wanted  to be a Hero who would save the world, as I grew up I wanted to save my nation. Today as being a mature man I want to save my city.

I remember those days when I face substantial personal obstruction, and it knocked me hard. I started to sink into a kind of depression, where I regularly blamed myself for not being good enough to get the work I wanted, and society for not giving me what I deserved and doing noting great for society which I have desired for. Sometimes I even blamed family,friends and society for holding me back. The Childhood Hero in me who wanted to save the world was depressed.

The frustration in the work I was doing to make my ‘bread and butter’ and dissatisfaction from all negative happing around me, in my country was pushing the Hero to come out, but I was scared, fearful to put any effort to change the world, my country as I am too tiny for this, so with each fear I became more disillusioned and angry. My thoughts would get into a cycle of negativity. I became ill-tempered, quiet and tearful, and my personal relationships suffered.

The turning point was when I decided not to be angry any more, but to cut my losses and try to put up my efforts in a logical manner.. This meant deciding to give up on that dream of saving my country and start again with my given limited capabilities at small scale.

Social work seemed a logical progression: I am still trying to make a positive difference, but doing so on a more human and practical scale, starting from the grassroots upwards rather than the top down. Yes, I decided to save my city, to bring a positive change in my city rather the country.

I accept that working for society, there is less status, no money but this makes it feel like doing a more honest, persevering kind of work. You can see change happening on an individual level, rather than witnessing a huge change in one attempt. Social work is all about how to help people make positive changes in their own lives, and you can’t fail to notice how to make positive changes in yours.

Through my little efforts, and later my experiences of working with people and developing a network of social workers, I have learnt many kinds of valuable information and skills that I apply  to help people to live happily or  improve their conditions. But the real value comes when you apply these lessons to yourself.

It’s easy to tell someone they need to focus on the positives and find things to enjoy, and then catch yourself complaining about conditions at work. It’s easy to talk about mindfulness and sensible towards rampant issues but spend your own time to just to talk about it rather any needful action.

It’s easy to spot when someone else has become dependent on you for support, but less easy to notice if you’re gaining a pleasure out of seeing yourself as a savior. Social Work, My work, repetitively forces me to question myself and reflect on my work, my values, and my life.

It brings me up against people who are battling bigger problems, and showing the snares anyone can fall into.

I did have to acknowledge that I had failed many times. But what I have gained so far is of enormous value: the realization that the only work which can make you happy is ‘working for others’, so you had better get on with it.

Social work may be a  career for many or hobby for few, whatever but it’s a lifestyle, and a lesson in responsibility and unyielding optimism.

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