The election is over. I'm sure that most of us are glad about that, regardless of how we feel about the outcome. I'm sure that many of us are trying to process what this campaign stirred up for us, and wondering if and how this nation can heal.
As a social worker, I love that I have a professional Code of Ethics to guide me. This Code of Ethics includes core values that guide me in my work and in my personal life. Social work's core values include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of relationships, integrity, and competence.
What might social work have to say about all of these current events?
The National Association of Social Workers just put out a statement on the election of Mr. Trump. I post it here.
My final thought is a quote that I often remember, "We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness." by Thich Nhat Hanh
NASW Statement on Donald J. Trump Election as 45th U.S. President
Association urges President-Elect to help heal divisiveness, trauma from his campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) congratulates Donald J. Trump on his election to become the 45th president of the United States.
The Association is deeply concerned by statements Mr. Trump has made regarding women, people of color and immigrants. At the same time, we acknowledge we must work with the new administration to address pressing issues of the day, including justice reforms, racial and gender inequality, access to health care for all, and helping more Americans achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability.
The NASW Code of Ethics makes clear the importance of social justice. We cannot support any efforts to marginalize or oppress any group of people, and will always work to assure that human rights extend to everyone. Social workers continue to strongly advocate for our country’s most vulnerable populations.
President-Elect Trump has said he is committed to restoring economic prosperity to the United States, helping more Americans afford care for their children and relatives who are older adults, and providing more services to our nation’s brave veterans and their families. We hope to build on these commonalities to move our country forward and will hold Mr. Trump accountable for his promises.
We also urge Mr. Trump and his administration to help heal the divisiveness and trauma his campaign has caused among some communities and populations. NASW, the largest professional social work association in the world with more than 125,000 members, is ready to help ensure these actions are done in a socially responsible and unifying manner.
NASW firmly supports our nation’s efforts to move forward in a positive way that acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Specifically, NASW will work to ensure that President-Elect Trump appoints justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and judges to the Circuit Courts of Appeals and lower Federal District Courts who come from diverse gender and ethnic backgrounds and will protect the rights of all citizens.
Lastly, NASW congratulates Democrat nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton for her years of service. Mrs. Clinton has a long history of working for positive social change in areas of importance to social workers, including health care reform; the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; reproductive rights for women; racial justice and equal rights for people who are LGBT.
We share Mrs. Clinton’s hope for the future. Everyone deserves the chance to pursue and achieve their dreams.
As Mrs. Clinton said in her concession speech, “let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear; making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.”
Let's face it. We all have fears. One of my biggest is speaking in front of others. As a therapist, I do have great skills of speaking one-on-one and of building rapport quickly. However, if I have to speak in big groups, I am scared. My heart races, my palms get sweaty, and my hands and voice shake. I recently decided that I would like to face this fear, and so I joined Toastmasters. In a few days, I am supposed to give my first prepared speech, the "Icebreaker." I am nervous just preparing it. :) The theme of my speech, which is supposed to tell others about myself, is going to focus on my journey of realizing how similar we all are. Thich Nhat Hanh, one of my favorite authors, said, "We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness." I plan to share how this quote seems to keep coming back to me, through experience after experience. And, in order to help me get through the first speech, I will try to remember to Breathe and Smile, more advice by Thich Nhat Hanh.
What fears do you have? How do you work on addressing those fears?
**Calligraphy Art by Bill Damon.
Amber is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She offers counseling for individual adults and clinical supervision for social workers. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching genealogy, reading, and dragon boating.
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