Friday, March 25, 2011

"you are not my friend"

"I have to be careful to avoid becoming emotionally involved with my consumers." This is what I told my husband today. I have to remember that they are my consumers, not my friends. My job is to coach them, to encourage them do things on their own. My job is to provide them with resources, but not necessarily make the phone call for them. I want them to like me and trust me, but my job is not simply to win their approval. My goal in this job is to help each person that I work with become a more self-sufficient person. I'm not to become their best friend. In fact, I'm not to be anything more than a professional helper.

And yet, sometimes when I distance myself, I find it's hard to feel compassion for the person. Sometimes I feel like I just don't care whether this person is really doing a good job. When I start caring, I start going to far in the opposite direction and want to do everything for them. It's all part of the learning process, and applying what I learned in school to these practical situations. I will say that the application is definitely harder than just talking about it in class. 

One more thing. I realize that we are in hard times, and there are people who milk the system, and that some places have a mentality of "take care of our own first." But really. Columbia doesn't have a lot of resources, so much of the burden falls on family and churches. I know churches have to be careful, but sometimes it seems like they don't want to do anything at all. Sometime it's "well, we have this program/aid/assistance, but it's for members only." I realize that members usually tithe to a church, but I don't see why a church would exclusively help a member of the church and not a member of the community. I heard "We have a financial assistance program, but we don't like to advertise it since it is a small fund saved for only our members." I really don't know what to think about this. 

I am an advocate of people getting their own jobs and taking care of themselves. Irresponsibility should not be rewarded. On the other hand, a few bad decisions should not mean barely surviving for the rest of someone's life.

This is just in my neighborhood. What am I really doing to help my neighbor?

No comments:

Post a Comment