For me personally, however, the empathy that I develop is directed by my spirituality and inclination to see beyond what is obvious. This combination has been most beneficial for me as a social worker (Robbins, Chatterjee and Canda, 2006; Lesser and Pope, 2007).
Furthermore, the level of loyalty and dedication that I bring to my work is something I am very proud of. As I mentioned earlier, loyalty and dedication are some of the important traits that I look for in my friends and the main reason for this is the fact that these are the traits that I personally vibe-out as well. I feel that as a social worker, perhaps the most important aspect that an individual can bring to work is dedication; as part of this world, u have to truly have a passion for it to be able to withstand the constant setbacks, financial instability and lack of awareness. Although I have to admit here that this level of dedication can have an overall negative impact on one's personal life, like in my case. Especially within the realm of social work, if you are really passionate, there is rarely anything else that you want to find time for; the overall social activity and mingling declines with the passage of time; the diet and nutritional needs can be heavily ignored; the political and economic pressures can cause tremendous stress resulting in the creation of many stress-related medical problems; etc. hence, it is very important to be able to create a balance in life and identity, meaning, an individual should focus on at least 4-5 personal relationships and aspects that define him/her outside of their professional world (Robbins, Chatterjee and Canda, 2006; Lesser and Pope, 2007).
D) Family as the Focal Point
The fact of the matter is that any and every family is built around the strength of its interpersonal relationships. All of these relationships are very tense and complex systems and expand across/through decades of generations. Personally, my family structure has been the focal point of my personal and professional development and is mainly run like a business corporation i.e. In our family structure one can clearly see that the main ideas of the structural family theory (like chain of command, limitations, and alliances) are present very vividly in the emotional links of all family members (Mcgoldrick, and Gerson, 1985). There are clear-cut decision-makers in our family who have the final word on every matter just like the CEO of an organization; everyone knows their place and responsibilities in the household and adheres to them in a manner that suits and depicts their personalities just like managers in a company; and there are many healthy and/or biased associations that exist within the family that work together towards articulating and achieving common personal and professional goals just like the unions within a company.
See the Genogram below for familial details:
The Genograms, like the one above, are very useful to track and manage one's personal history and medical records as well as to keep track of all familial relationships that have developed over the years. The Genogram above shows the overall immigration of my ancestors into America as well as their occupational and medical histories. Furthermore, a more personal note it also shows the overall relationships that I feel have blossomed within the family and stand strong even today.
E) External Influences: Four Organizations
The authors of the book "Macro Systems in the Social Environment" focus on how the overall personal and professional development of an individual within any social environment is made of micro-level decisions and choices. In their book they write that all of these micro-level decisions are either directly or indirectly influenced by the macro-level or communal level decisions and choices that are made in eth short and the long-term (Long and Holle, 2007). My own life decisions have been marked by my association or perception of a macro-level incident or organization. Some of the most influential groups or organizations that have influenced me include:
International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
College of social work, University of South Carolina
International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)
International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)
The college of social work in the University of South Carolina is where I do most of my research work from for all my social work activity. I find the sources and links available there to be extremely useful, updated and all-encompassing. It has links and networking with many government and policy making sites as well as many national and international social work organizations that work within the same domains that I have an interest in. The ability to use their services as one of my main research domains has made life a lot easier for me as I have easy access to the networks that I want and I can do it any time it is convenient for me. This is by far the biggest advantage that I have of the membership of the College of social work, University of South Carolina
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) has also been a great motivator for me to engage in social work and relative activities. The IFSW fights for sustaining the phenomena of social justice and impartiality, civil and human rights as well general social and communal developmental procedures. They do so through the use of managing and sustaining successful social work theories and practices as well as global support and networking between and amongst different social work organizations and governments across the globe. Networking with the IFSW with them on the common problems that we face has helped tremendously as their suggestions come from a very experienced and organized perspective and they too end up contributing, through our organization, to conduct successful social work campaigns.
The International Council for Social Work (ICSW) is perhaps one of the most diverse social work organizations as it includes the professional social workers as well as the lay men and women who work as employees or temps. According to Correll (2005) the ICSW is "a global non-governmental organization which represents a wide range of national and international member organizations that seek to advance social welfare, social justice and social development" (pg. 688). The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) is perhaps the only social work organization of its kind as it incorporates teachers and educators from all over the world to contribute to the social work campaigns. Understanding the dimensions of these two organizations has helped me understand the depth and expanse of social work as well as its necessity even in the global market where the comfort of a lifestyle is more or less a switch or click away, there are still many voices and many groups of people aren't being heard and aren't being represented at all. And one way to represent them is through joining our hands and reaching out to people either through schools or entertainment in order to truly implement social justice.
F) External Influences: Three Events
Writing has always been a part of my family; in fact I come from a long line of published writers and journalists, yet it wasn't till I was nine that the writer in me was awakened with a sudden jolt. I remember returning home with my family from a certain aunt's place, having had a festive dinner there. On our way back, I drifted off to sleep in the car and felt my sister put a small pillow under my head for comfort, I wasn't completely in sleep mode and opened my eyes when she did so. The car was passing by a house, in front of the house, on the footpath, I saw a total of three children, in rags, one of whom was lying on the floor, sound asleep, nothing but dirt and a broken down rock under his head for a pillow while the other two divided a single slice of bread in half and dipped it in water, so that it would become soft enough for them to eat. We passed them in a matter of seconds; I looked around and noticed that nobody else had really seen what I had seen. I was nine, and yet for the next couples of days, something inside me just couldn't rest. I couldn't understand the gap between those children's life and my life. I remember waking up in bed one day, going out to the garden, retrieving a good-looking rock and using that as a pillow. I couldn't close my eyes resting my head on it leave alone sleep like I had seen that kid. That was the moment I wrote my very first poem, titled 'the butterflies'. It has to be my most favorite piece of writing yet.
That one experience molded my entire perception of the world; I engaged myself in the community and the world around me more then ever before as I began to understand the world as bigger then just my sense…