Greatness in something small.
In youth work we are going through our own adolescent storm and stress. We are pushing to have the prestige that comes with the title ‘profession‘. We are storming against other professions, within our own industry and with our colleagues. We are all aware of how great the step towards professionalising is, and what it will mean for individuals and our sector. For many though it is like building a new skyscraper or cruise ship… A great feat, that will take a long time. In Australia there has been active initiatives towards building a professional association of youth workers since the 1970’s.
[Tweet “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napolean Hill”]
The sad fact of humanity is that we are not all destined for greatness. We will not all become a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr or Gandhi or Mother Theresa. We more often than not are destined to plod through life doing the boring, unsexy stuff of the daily slog. It is this boring slog that many of our colleagues struggle with. It is one of the reasons people leave our industry. It is not all mountain top experiences. It is most often time in the valley doing small things.
Our character, when we are faced with the small things, is what most people will judge our profession and our people on. If we react with disdain and neglect to those small things our funding bodies and the public will continue to crucify youth workers in the media. Auditors will continue to give us poor reviews. Students will stop choosing youth work courses and eventually youth work will fade away. If however we choose to do the small things in great ways then our profession and our individual practice will be marked with greatness.
The average community worker is spending around 60% of their time doing paperwork. Imagine how much more effective we could be if we did our paperwork in half the time with twice the professionalism. Greatness. Imagine if we spent less time dealing with bureaucracy and more time dealing with people. Greatness. Imagine if we dealt with a persons needs not just what we could do in their episode of care. Greatness! Imagine if we cleaned the office toilet with gusto instead of hoping the cleaner would do it. Greatness.