One of my idols in life is Brené Brown. She is a Social Work professor at the University of Houston. She is a qualitative researcher who studies vulnerability and shame. Her job is wrapped up in story, the good and the bad ones. She quickly became an online sensation after her first TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability,” which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it. She’s also written several fantastic books.
I have Brené’s Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted on the cork board behind my office computer. It’s a reminder to own all the parts of my stories. We often want to ignore the hard or messy parts. We want to tell only the good stories, but the best stories come out of the struggle. We love the underdog story because it reminds us the hard things can be overcome. As social workers, this is what our job is about, whether working on a macro or micro level. We are telling the stories of those underrepresented or misrepresented by society. We stand up for those who have been unable to tell their stories. We help those who have experienced trauma rewrite their interpretation of their story.
Whatever season of life you find yourself in, look for the stories that are being told around you. Ask questions that invite people to tell their story. They may need to tell it just as badly as you need to hear it. Stories are the true treasures of life; they make us laugh and cry, sometimes in the same story. Live a good story and write your own daring ending.
-MSW Student Jessica Feeley
Posted on Mon, October 31, 2016
by Amy Arnold filed under