“One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others”—Nelson Mandela
That is a true and powerful statement, and I say that because it has taken me many years to get to the point of seeing myself as a “good work” started. That good work has only been made a reality because of my changed mind. I changed my mind about myself, and have tried to live down what other people think about me and develop some kind of moral compass and believe in (not only) what I aspire to help with, but also what I believe will help. In essence, I can only help with what I am allowing (or have allowed) my self to get help with.
If I have not mentioned that I am in counseling, and understand that some people might believe that sharing such personal information is telling ones business. However, I do not see it like that, but do see if I cannot get help then I cannot help anyone, then it is a weakness on my part.
For one thing, I have to ask myself if I aspire to help women then how can I do that if I cannot go and bear all to become free to help? I cannot say that I will help women in whatever manner if I am still angry, or unforgiving, or bogged down with grief. So then, I seek to help myself, thereby, changing myself to become a woman who can help. Therefore, if I aspire to help in any area, such as women need that “to Innovate, Inform, Influence, Inspire” (The Dailey Grind, 2016) then I must change myself. Additionally, some situations we live out change us, some challenge us; however, the most change comes when we do introspection to look deeply into what we need to work [out] within us to save ourselves first.
Concerning our work, and the changes we seek to make, and or, those we work with—or participants. I must say that I cannot hear a team, work with a group if I have issues to address and that are unmet. I believe this is why there are colleagues who do not work well together in collaboration, or are not well matched in the negotiation stage. Consequently, many people might come together for a cause but coming together requires as Spiro (2011) mentions, ‘that leaders be ready’, and goes back to me and counseling to ‘prepare’ myself for the work.
Probably the change I seek is more deeper rooted than many because (like those I help) I speak from a place I have lived already—a place from the heart of the change. Hence, perhaps it would be well to gather other ideas and opinions during the planning. For example, assessing the readiness of the individuals involved” as mentioned Spiro (2011) who asked if people were on the same page concerning the change, or rather, do people have prior experience with functionally illiterate clients? Have they been in the past functionally illiterate? “Do participants speak the same language when it comes to the strategy? Not only the same words, but the same meaning? (26). So what does my team bring with them to the planning of this action?
Are shared values supported? In essence, even those learners, those affected –are all speaking the same language? Ultimately, one should ask how else are we going to help alleviate and rescue the people who are suffering whether in the class or in life outside of the classroom in our every day lives.
Spiro, J. (2011). Leading change step-by-step: Tactics, tools, and tales. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.