Creating Change: Lessons, Skills and Advice

Lessons

  • "I learned to pick and choose the battles I get involved with.
  • "I am a 'do' person rather than someone who will 'sit and speculate about what to do.'
  • "I pick a direction and correct the destination as I go.
  • "Most people I meet with to solve problems of poverty are not well-informed or they lack hands-on experience or the power to do anything about it. But they have good intentions."

Skills / Advice

  • "Have compassion—without that, you're not going to be effective. You can gain compassion and empathy by seeing, listening, and allowing feelings to come to the surface. Then sift them through until you are able to cope with others with compassion. I can be compassionate for the people we are serving and who come to Romero House in need, but I can be just as compassionate with the people who are employed or volunteering here. Otherwise, what are we all about in caring for others?"
  • Do something that makes you feel, even makes you cry, for which you have the training and education to produce real change for the good. If you can't do this, then you will not be happy. Your clients will not trust you and you will do more harm than good.
  • Do not judge others until you have walked in their shoes. There is no room for judgment if you are in the care services. Who are we that we should tell others how they should be?
  • Common sense. Listen closely and then stay focused to the priorities in a simple, practical way.
  • Faith. "Without faith you can do nothing. Usually we just mess things up, we cannot work out of our own power and need faith to accept help with the things we do not understand."
  • Determination. Make a commitment and be able to follow through and stick with it. "Never give up. When things seem darker, then brightness comes through."
  • Patience. "Be very patient with each other. We are all unique and very, very complex. That's why we need God our creator to make up the difference between us."
  • Get into something because you are sincere and have the right attitude. Do not let yourself be used and abused until you burn out.
  • If you are in any type of social work and it is not conducive to your happiness, you will not be able to help anyone. Get out.
  • A sense of humour is essential.