Growing up was a roller coaster for me. My parents split when I was super young, and I was in and out of court a lot in a major custody battle. I was in and out of different therapist offices and was being held up by strings controlled by each parent determining what I would say. Because I was young, most of what I thought and felt about one parent stemmed from the other parent. Therefore, I wasn’t always true to myself and my own feelings. I grew up faster than most kids my age, learning my own values to live by at a very early stage in life. I learned that being truthful to others is important, but so is being truthful to yourself. I learned that being kind will help build relationships, the right ones. Finally, one of the later things I learned was my self worth.
I first learned my lesson on what dishonesty can do to a bond when my therapist broke my trust and spilled what I had said about my dad, to my dad. I was ten years old and had told her why I had panic attacks going to his house; she then proceeded to invite him into the room and told him everything I said. This absolutely crushed me. She had already told me she was not going to tell, but she did. This one therapist kept me from trusting any therapist with anything for years. After reading the “Code of Ethics'' on socialworkers.org, I learned that this value of mine correlates with the value of integrity. Being in the social work profession honesty is incredibly important. The client needs to be able to trust the social worker. In any working relationship, trust is a big priority.
My next value is to be kind. Being kind has been taught worldwide to children as they grow up with the “golden rule”, it does not change as you get older. Being kind to those around you will not only improve your own mental health but those around you. Those who choose to be kind to everyone, wil be trusted a lot more, and more successfully. This correlates with NASW’s value of the human relationship. Developing a strong relationship with a client is extremely pivotal to the job. The social worker is in charge of making the life of their client easier by restoring their life and family.
My last, but not least important, value is self worth. I learned this through my relationships. Learning the ways of ‘love’, I came across some people who did not treat me how I deserved. I let people walk all over me. I let people abuse me, rob me, and damage my self esteem. It took me years to realize that, I am better than someone who could let people walk all over them. This value directly lines up with NASW’s value of “respecting dignity and self worth”. I know how it feels to be disrespected and walked all over, every client no matter who they are deserves to feel as they are of the same importance as anyone else in this world. The thought that everyone matters equally is a thought to live by.
I did not want to take up a career helping others until something terrible happened to me. I wanted to be an actor, I was living in California following my dreams and on a scholarship to a film school. My life was ripped out of the palm of my hands, I saw how dark California and the people can be, and I realized my future is me making the world a little more peaceful and kind, one person at a time by following and sharing my values.