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Archive for July 12th, 2012

“I work on myself so I can be of service to others; my service work with others is also for me.  This reciprocal arrangement helped us to avoid some of the pitfalls of what I call “helpers’s disease”. 

~~Frank Ostaseski, from Journey East by Victoria Jean Dimidjian

One thing I have learned in the almost 20 yrs of working in social services, and having my own experience with chronic pain, is that burnout or compassion fatigue can happen for two reasons. . .

One . . . we feel a sense of learned helplessness for the politics and bureaucracy that keeps us from being able to help others.  We become complacent and accept what it going on around us, sometimes licking our wounds and not wanting to be an agent of change.

And two. . . we start to see those we are there to help as “the other” or even worse, as not being human any more.

We can stay healthy when we remember that we have as much to learn as those we help.  We have as much potential for growth as those around us.  No matter how many strikes are against us or how many unfair policies there are, we can make a difference.  But we can only do that when we maintain a peaceful heart and nonjudgmental attitude.

Om mani padme hum.

Deutsch: Om mani padme hum (Tibetisches Mantra)

Deutsch: Om mani padme hum (Tibetisches Mantra) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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