By Daniel Jacob, MSW
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ~Barack Obama
I have returned, and with that I hope these words find you well. Today, I am touched like many with the energy that comes with another opportunity. What exactly is that? Another four years to see where we can possibly go. I do not use this forum as a political platform, not my thing, and so I am mindful and aware of this, my intention here is to enlighten, empower, support, and help you help yourself. It just happens that my inspiration this week is reflective to what we all were exposed to this past week, “change.” No matter how you see it, what the past few have looked like, or what the future ahead will be, we are presented with another opportunity. This is an important part of the process of “change” as often we can over think what we don’t have, not what we do, and all that goes into being upset and disappointed because of… So, I present to you what most claim to know, but can’t always understand. The idea that we must recognize the progress that has been made, the steps taken to decrease and eliminate some barriers and obstacles, and the opportunity to move forward. Now, for some these are just words, with no plausible outcome that equates to success or benefit. Well, what I will say about that is that if you measure success or benefit as a positive gain based on a few parts of the sum, but not the whole, you would see exactly what you want to!
We live and breathe in a country that provides us with more opportunity to better our selves than most around the globe. There is no mystery as to “why” many choose to come here, start over, and work towards a better day. We also live within a culture (at times) that spends more time than needed focusing on what can not change, versus what we can. With that being said I am hopeful because I know what “change” represents, I understand what it takes to be part of the process, the solution, not the… Does this mean that there will be no challenge, disruption, setbacks, and all that comes with “change?” No, it does not. What it means is there is an opportunity to move forward (i.e. progress), as long as you can see it that way. Am I optimistic and hopeful? Yes, I am but I am also very in tune with what is real, predictable, and all that goes into being honest and open to “change.” Stay with me, the idea here is not that everything that is perceived as negative and impacting us in a detrimental manner will somehow disappear. No, the idea is that it will become more manageable, we will find ways for things to work with us (solution focused), not against us, and we will create the systems of support to help when needed. Whether you agree with this one (think candidate) or that one, the same outcome is spoken about when it comes to our future, “change.” How that will translate to what the outcome(s) will look like is going to be different, this we know, and often this is what really speaks to their (candidate) audience and the ideologies, norms, values, and all one may subscribe to, how will this change affect and effect my (individual & family) story.
The example I have shared, based on the recent transition for another four more, is just that. However, there are several opportunities within these words that can provide you with an opening when you are presented with “change.” Embrace what you can control, and what you can not, ask yourself “how can I learn from this experience in a manner that will add to my bucket, not?” It’s your choice as always, but being hopeful and resilient can and often do provide one with positive opportunities. If this sounds familiar, you just may have heard these words somewhere over the last several months, perhaps… You be well out there, keep your head up and heart open as you take care of you own needs, while impacting those in need. When you give you receive!
[This is a contribution by Daniel Jacob, Founder of Can You Hear Me? Can You Hear Me? is my latest project which is an opportunity to empower and support helping professionals. Currently, I provide instruction and support as an External Field Instructor for MSW students in the distance learning program at the USC School of Social Work.]