Being Thankful

My work teaches me everyday how crazy this world is that we live in. As some of you know, I am a social worker with Child Protective Services. I am the person who investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and dependency. My job allows me to meet all kinds of people and families from all walks of life. Even though most think that all my job entails is sad stories of children being abused and neglected, I have had the privilege of meeting many people who are doing a great job as a parent and are using the resources and skills that they have. Sometimes they may need a little support, encouragement, and point in the right direction, but being poor and living in poverty does not make one a neglectful parent. Also, I should follow-up that not all of the families I work with are poor. Furthermore, not all "reports" are completely true, and people have all kinds of motives for making a report to CPS. It is my job to take the report as true and serious; however, it is also my job to find out from the family what is going on and what DSS can do to support the family to ensure that another report comes in. We (meaning DSS) and myself (personally) want to see successful parents raising their children to be successful people in the world.

I am getting off on a tangent, though. I complain about my life sometimes. I wish I had this or I wish I had that. I want more clothes. Wouldn't it be nice to buy new couches for the living room? But then, all that goes away when I meet with families who are struggling just to find where their next meal is coming from or where they are going to sleep for the night. How could I be so selfish?

People and their problems are so complex. It gets me down sometimes. I am down right now thinking about some of the families that I am working with in the moment. There are certain cases and parents and children who touch me and move me. I come home sometimes saying to my husband that I am sad for the world or for people or for children because I've been hit with the reality of what others are up against in this world.

So, I am thankful. I am thankful that I have a loving husband, parents, and family. I am thankful that my husband and I are able to pay our bills, feed ourselves, have a place to lay our heads a night. I am thankful for the families I work with everyday who keep me grounded. I am thankful for the people who have enriched my life and have taught me more about life, about social work, about living than any text book could ever teach me.

I am thankful.

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