So, it’s been quite a while since I’ve gotten the chance to blog (almost three weeks). It worries me that I’ve gone so long without blogging, but believe me when I say that life has been chaotic.
The past three weeks have been an adventure that I have loved, feared and survived. Corps Members (CMs) arrived, Corps Training Institute (CTI) began,adventures were had with my temporary team, my computer decided it didn’t like the internet, Hurricane Isaac decided to hit the night of team reveal, and the power decided to go out on campus and has yet to return.
Last night was one of the first nights since CMs arrived that I feel like I got enough sleep, mainly due to the fact that we had no power and by 9:30 (2130) I was exhausted and didn’t have to wake up until almost 8 this morning (0800).
Since the last time I posted, I’ve had several thoughts run through my head, so forgive me for being scatter-brained, but I hope I hit them all in the following words:
Forgiveness and Acceptance v. Compromise
Many times I find myself angry at individuals who have wronged me (or who I have wronged) and then I try to change the way I act around them (or with they would change). I have discovered that compromising in a situation may not be the best situation, especially if both parties disagree with one another.
It is better to agree to disagree. Forgive one another and accept that we are different. Compromising puts our own and others beliefs at risk. Asking them to bend so that you are more comfortable, or bending yourself to ease the tension puts both parties at risk.
You teach others how you want to be treated by how you treat yourself
– Gary Turner, Region Director
Confidence in Who you Are
One of the things that I admire about this group of 200+ individuals that showed up three weeks ago is the fact that they all are confident in who they are. It is my belief that if you know who you are as an individual, then you will not bend to who people think you should be.
This group of CMs have inspired me because they have this confidence in knowing themselves.
The Fear of Failing
I think at some point in time each of us has stopped and asked ourselves how we would react when a disaster hits. Will be freeze? Will we be stopped in our tracks? Will everything, all our thoughts and fears, turn silent as we react?
Every single one of us holds the fear of failing close to our hearts. We are afraid that when people need us the most, we will not know what to do.
As Hurricane Isaac moved through the area these past couple days, several CMs and TLs expressed the desire to rush in and do something, anything to help. I explained to my team, as did many TLs, that if we were to go in without training, not only would we not know what to do, we would just be in the way. It’s frustrating to know that we still have four more weeks of training before we head out into the field, but at the same time I know that when the time comes, we will excel because we will have this training.
White Knight Syndrome
As AmeriCorps*NCCC – FEMA Corps members, we will be entering into communities and areas affected by disaster. We are young and have a bunch of energy. This creates the dilemma of being too eager to help, believing and expressing the belief that we are there to save the community.
As I’ve said before, FEMA is a supporting agency. Our job is not their to save anybody. We are there to assist them to the best of our abilities. We are not the White Knight riding in on the spotless horse to save the day. We are the builders, the healers that come into the wreckage and position ourselves shoulder to shoulder with those in the communities we serve.
Just because we have all this training, these fancy titles does not mean that we are better. When we enter the community, we are called to humble ourselves and provide the support so that others can rise to the challenges of rebuilding, recovering and returning to life.
I don’t need your voice. I need to know that you have my back, supporting me
Lifting Others Up v. Meeting Them at Their Level
We all entered into this adventure with our different experiences, skill sets and knowledge. We are all here, in this together to build one another up and grow and develop into leaders. There is a difference between lifting others up and meeting them at their level in regards to giving them the strength to grow as individuals.
Look at it as an image. When you watch someone lift someone up, they are usually on different levels, be it experiences, physical footing, or situations. One is higher than the other, reaching down. When you meet someone at the level they are on, you are no longer superior to them. You humble yourself and give up the fact that you may have had a better footing than them. You meet as equals and lift them from an even playing field, growing together.
Yes, I have rambled and hit many different topics, all scattered across the continuum of relevance. I hope you have been able to stick with the chaos that I call my thoughts. I hope it will not be this long before I am able to write again.
God Bless and PEACE