When I speak about the ‘Power of One,’ I am not referring to the book written by Bryce Courtenay or the movie based on it. I am referring to the profound impact one individual can make that can reverberate exponentially to the benefit of many. This is not some catchy philosophy; it is a fact of nature. When I plant one green bean seed I yield dozens of green bean pods which produce hundreds of seeds. So too, when one plants a seed of care, compassion, concern, hope or encouragement, the same potential for fruition exists. As March, National Social Worker Month, comes to a close, let us be mindful that these individuals are the “Johnny Appleseed” of goodness and wellbeing in our society.
In preparing for this blog, I took the time to read a number of stories from social workers; they were all quite moving. And there was definitely a theme that emerged. Almost exclusively, these social workers had a real-life experience that drew them into the field. Some grew up in poverty and were dependent on a social worker to help their family. Many experienced social work services as part of their own or a loved one’s medical care. One story I read was about a veteran who came back from Afghanistan with severe PTSD. He benefited greatly by social work services, and became one himself to serve other veterans.
These stories were so much about “paying it forward.” A seed of goodness, caring or guidance germinated in each of them as a life-changing motivator to help others. Now it was their turn to do good, to manifest the Power of One. The more they helped others, the more helpers of others sprouted.
I have worked in the Human Services field for the better part of five decades. Over this time, I have seen the ‘recipient becoming the helper’ cycle repeat over and over. I have enjoyed seeing hundreds of lives so touched in a positive way by the life of a Social Worker or Case Manager, that they too have pursued the helping profession. Many have become social workers, counselors, first responders, medical professionals and teachers; driven to reciprocate goodness and the blessings they had experienced. Family Care Network has even had former clients become staff members–continuing the process of sowing good!
Yes, Social Workers are amazing people who contribute much value to society by continually introducing help, hope and light in the darkest of circumstances. God bless them! But the Power of One process should never be isolated to a single group. We all need to exercise this skill by striving to help each other by whatever means we can. The wellbeing of our community and society depends on this. We can overcome evil with good.
There is no way to get away from the absolute truth that “we reap what we sow!” When we sow hope, we reap hopefulness. When we sow compassion, we reap joy. When we sow peace, we reap contentment. Conversely, if we sow anger, we reap hostility, and when we sow disregard, we reap social discord. Right now, our society is in a real battle of good versus evil. There exists such a fervor of hostility, hate, distrust, and dishonesty that is casting a pervasive shroud of darkness. It is up to all of us to counteract this negativity by conscientiously engaging in a lifestyle of promoting that which is good, that which is edifying, that which is pleasant, that which is joyful, that which is healing, and that which brings hope.
You see, we all have the opportunity to be “Social Workers,” exercising the Power of One to help someone. The spirit of Social Work can be manifested in whatever vocation or activity we pursue. There will always be someone in need. There will always be somebody hurting. There will always be opportunities to cheer up the downhearted or soothe the brokenhearted. We don’t have to look too far to find that person–but we most certainly must be on the watch; continually looking with a mind for action!
I pursued the Human Services profession because as a youth I experienced the impact of positive encouragement, help and guidance. Over the years I have been elevated and carried through life on the joy and exuberance of seeing lives positively transformed. There is no greater feeling! And, it is free for the taking; it just takes your commitment, effort and willingness to see others as being as important as yourself.
I love our Social Workers, Case Managers, and so many other helping professionals. Isn’t it exciting that we can all Be the Difference by unleashing the magnificent, Power of One!
Utilize your power by getting involved in your community. Become a mentor, tutor, volunteer, foster parent, adopt, or donate to Family Care Network! If you're interested in making a difference, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask how you can get started in your area of interest today.