Humble Hero’s

2015-05-01_14-37-05“For All The Humble Hero’s

Humility is not thinking less of yourself,

it’s thinking of yourself less.”

-Rick Warren

Leading up to the renovation of the Citizens Counseling Center I had many inspiring conversations with community leaders and active citizens who are all worthy of great praise. Dads who work full time jobs and want to spend the weekend painting walls in the hot sun. Local business owners who offer up a percentage of their hard earned profits without hesitation. Students who put off studying for their final exams to serve food. Our volunteers and sponsors motivate me to do my job every day.

In the short two months working for HeroWork I have identified a common theme. Independent of age, gender, income, or career people do not want to share their accomplishments with others. Our sponsors and volunteers gladly accept HeroWork bumper stickers to display on their vehicles, and the HeroWork posters to hang on their walls.  But when I ask them to have pride in themselves, as individuals, people get a little weirded out. Maybe they think it sounds like bragging. Perhaps they feel selfish. I am not sure why. For myself, I feel like my contribution to the HeroWork is not as big as others. I can’t help but wonder… why we are so shy to share our acts of goodwill?

Jump to the Opening Ceremonies of our current Radical Renovation. Its finally time! Here I am shaking hands with all the folks that make it happen. I stop to talk to a lady I will refer to as Judith. I congratulate Judith on her efforts. Instantly her cheeks flush and our eye contact breaks. “Ya, but have you met Kent? Now that guy is incredible!” is the statement that follows. Her first reaction is to lift someone else up. Judith and I have a lot in common. My reaction to praise is often the same.

Judith and I go on to have a conversation of ‘Justs’. She says to me “I am just volunteering for the afternoon.” “I am just sanding these doors.” “I am just a mom.”  What I want to say is “No Judith you are volunteering this afternoon, you are sanding those doors, and you are a mom. And those are all really amazing things.” The conversation I have with Judith happens again and again over the course of opening weekend.

I find a certain irony in the shyness of our sponsors and volunteers. One of the major aims of counseling is to affirm self worth and validate the sacrifices and suffering of our everyday lives. Here we are renovating the Citizens Counseling Center—an organization that fulfills that aim—and the people who are making it happen will not allow me to affirm their worth and validate their efforts. 

In a group of people it is easy to claim our pride. This is very important. The power of people coming together is central to what we do at HeroWork.

As an individual it can be more challenging to take ownership of the good we make in this world. This is also very important. The empowerment of self is central to what they do at the CCC.

Many people spend their lives disengaged from the people in their community.  Volunteers and sponsors of HeroWork are dedicate an exceptional amount of effort to strengthen our community. So I say, “Let’s shout out that we are making a difference. Stand proud for the big or small things we do. Not so others will look at us, but so others will be inspired by us and make a difference, too!”

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