The notion of help is a topic I find very interesting. Helping others is something that I find myself doing every day in one way or the other. Helping other people is innate nature. It is a component of the frame of who I am. I think it has much to do with the way I was brought up. My father always volunteered his time to local matters and helped feed the homeless. At the forefront of living, I was brought up under these virtues, and this has been a rewarding part of my life ever since. I often feel a sense of overall happiness and fulfillment when others can smile because of me, and I believe it is a moral responsibility for every human being to help each other during a time of need. If the opportunity to help someone arises, I often find myself driven to help but if I miss out, I develop a feeling of guilt. It gives a sense of achievement when you help others. When you have the heart of helping people, you’re giving them the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives at some level. And your life is also improved since you will develop a great positive attitude to those you meet every day and the events occurring in your life.
Intersectionality is the aspect of acknowledging that within groups of people with a collective identity, there are intergroup differences. This applies to gender, race, religion, sexuality, or some of the defining aspects of identity. Every person has a slightly different experience of the social structure since the interaction of their personalities often reflect an intersection of coinciding oppressions (Mattsson, 2014, p. 3). As a result, far-reaching generalizations about power or struggle of a given social unit does not often realize that those in the group may also fit in other social units and are capable of experiencing different types of marginalization. It is unfortunate that social movements and institutions based on a generally shared distinctiveness seem to ignore the existence of other ostracized identities within the unit. Even though intersectionality came as a way for the black women to relate and adapt to feminism, the lens of intersectionality can be applied to understand various social interactions and complex social orders (Mattsson, 2014, p. 7). This lens has often alerted me on how complex these interactions and hierarchies are. Subcultures have their own social meaning which both contradicts and confirms dominant social structures. For instance, femininity can have different meanings to an African American woman and a white woman, even though they are both women. It is usually used to describe the different types of discrimination and oppression that one can face. The intersection I possess is the fact that I do not coy away from acknowledging that people often see the world differently based on their intersecting identity characteristics.
Throughout the course, my understanding of help has severely shifted. Today, I believe that helping others do not just entail the provision of material things like food, water, housing, etc. There is more into help than the normal ones. From the course learning, I have come to learn that I need to expand my hand of help to other areas. There people outside there that are suffering in one way or the other but they are not given due attention. As a result, I want to be helpful in a social sense and the everyday lives of people. There are people who are being oppressed because of their color or race. I can achieve this by forming a social rights movement to help fight for the rights of women, children, the people of color. Social work is essential because it enables people to stand up every day for human rights and social justice in a bid to help strengthen our communities. Social work forms the voice of the few who are not being heard in the society and forges a way out to help them achieve their full ability and make the society a better place to live (CASW, 2005, p. 9). In times of despair, hope will always come from somewhere.
My desire in the field of social work originates from the aspiration to advocate for those who may need my voice within the society. I think that it is my responsibility to fight for social justice for the marginalized groups and populations. The desire to advocate for other people has developed to be extremely clear to me in my role as a social worker, whether I am working with the LGBTQ youth, HIV/AIDS community, the disability community, or older adults, among others. (McPhail, 2004, p. 4). With the recent increase of hate speech and cases associated with racism, xenophobia, racial shootings, and anti-Semitism, my passion for the social work field has been further approved and finds something to reignite it every day. Social work is an area that is very broad, diverse, and offers various settings, services, and roles to those who share the common interest of helping those in need. It may sound biased, but I do not know any other profession involved in addressing the needs of the minority or less privileged in the community and the oppressed other than social workers. They dedicate their lives to offer critical support that is needed at any moment in time. Even though social workers may take different settings and roles, the fundamental values of social work bring them together in a reliable way. The field of social work is more critical today more than it was before because we are continuing to promote a person-centered empowering approach to our practices most of the times.
Canadian Association for Social Workers (2005) Guidelines for Ethical Practice
Mattsson, T. (2014). Intersectionality as a useful tool: Anti-oppressive social work and critical reflection. Affilia, 29(1), 8-17.
McPhail, B. A. (2004). Questioning gender and sexuality binaries: What queer theorists, transgendered individuals, and sex researchers can teach social work. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 17(1), 3-21.