by Daniel Jacobs, MSW
When you give you receive. How do I know this? I am fortunate to be witness to it, with the availability and awareness to recognize the opportunity I am presented with! If you can see it then the openings will continue to show themselves. I’m writing today from the mountains (the picture to the right is the visual) and couldn’t ask for a better place and space to share from. Today my reflection and words are influenced from having the recent opportunity to give and receive with aspiring social workers to be. I’m wrapping up with my year serving and supporting MSW students with their field education practicum, so the reflection and evaluation process is in full effect. This process, one that has involved guiding, teaching, empowering, and supporting has truly provided me with opportunity! You see, when you teach, there is a dual process going on, as both the teacher and student are learning. As it has been stated “when one teaches two learn” and this is something that I have come to embrace! by Daniel Jacob, MSW I think back from time to time about the days when I was so far removed from the place that I find myself in today. My journey as they say has taken me from barely graduating high school, to working as a warehouse worker, using and abusing, just getting by with no plausible direction to achieve. I transitioned from this world into the field of construction where I learned so many difficult but necessary lessons. This is where I learned about work ethic, responsibility, and the ability to gain strength from being educated the hard way within a culture and population of tough cats. Then something wonderful happened along the way, I found that true learning and living come from the experience and the opportunity to fall, rise, and work towards progress through the most difficult and challenging circumstances! It was at this stage in my life that it all slowed down for me. It was at this point in time that I made a decision to change my life for the better and so… I began to educate myself while being immersed into the world of work to survive and pay the bills, and go to school in my spare time if you get what I am saying? When I think about the past several months and the work I have been a part of, it empowers me in many wonderful ways. I am able to bring the influences in my life that have shaped and guided me through effort, perseverance, patience, and resilience and give and receive in the process. I am able to tap into the challenges and difficulties of my students and with out saying much, I convey to them that I understand, “I get it” while validating that “I hear you.” Yes indeed the ride has been amazing because of much… I own my story, and because I am able to better help myself, in turn I am able to help others in a positive, effective, and sustainable manner! Life is really how you see it, use it, and learn from it. If you take your story and all that goes into the process that shapes and influences you, and you are able to use it to change your life for the better, then the opportunities that present themselves will be of use. If you do the opposite and approach the situation with the idea that you are not receiving what you want or need, then you are working against your most difficult of opponents, YOURSELF! May these words find you in that place and space that has you well. As you move closer to the holidays, may you continue to give and receive, because when you do I know you will see that all of the wonderful gifts that life affords are available. Head up and heart open!