Let’s admit it, many of us, whether we are social workers or not, don’t consider ourselves rich. This is because we define ‘rich’ in terms of money, and with good reason in a world that in and of itself appears defined by the money in our banks and wallets.
With the state of the world we live in it often becomes difficult to escape a ‘poverty’ mentality. No only do we feel that we are poor because we live pay check by pay check (leaving us with little money to splurge on what we believe really matters), but we often feel poor in health, sparse in time, limited in mobility, burnt out in compassion, and lacking in friendship, just to name a few ways we can feel poor. As with the true cycle of poverty that we see clients struggle to get out of, this poverty mentality has the same effect: We feel stuck, muted, and bogged down.
But, richness is defined by so much more than money. Webster’s dictionary in short defines Rich as:
: having a lot of money and possessions
: very expensive and beautiful, impressive, etc.
: having or supplying a large amount of something that is wanted or needed
The second and third definitions go far beyond income and materials items, to discuss richness in quality, beauty, color, sound, technique, impression, and more. So then, what are you rich in? I for one am currently rich in: love, fresh vegetables (currently peppers and carrots), compassion, cooking skills, writing and editing talent, friendship, and unlimited potential. What about you? Perhaps a shift in our mentality away from what we are poor in toward what we do have that makes us rich will change the way we perceive our outlook on life and our ability to assist our clients.
Written by Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer