Competency E: How My World View Impacts My Work With Others

“Doubt is what allows a single gesture to have a heart.” – Fanny Howe

“Wonder is the fact that the world has never ceased to be real.” – Dan Beachy-Quick

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Kahlil Gibran

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates

“Doubt everything. Find your own light.” – Buddha

“From wonder into wonder existence opens.” – Lao Tzu

I operate from this world view of doubt and wonder and faith, and I need all three to be an educator. My faith is in humanity, in potential, in possibility, and in love. I learn more to do more, and I try at all times to live now, and now, and now. My privilege provides me with a world of promise and opportunity and choice. My relationships nurture and support me. I love adventure and travel and stretching my comfort zone (but not every day!). I appreciate down time, alone time, silly television show time, good food time, and gathering time for ¬†good friends in laughter and conversation. My goals include continuously improving, continuously finding my place in the world, and continuously making meaning and examining my purpose. I hope to be a good colleague, a good advisor, a good friend, a good wife, a good mother, but I know that my definition of good may be different than others. My view of the world is expansive, beautiful, tragic, wondrous, broken, on-the-verge, and emergent. I have hope, but I’m frustrated by oppression, discrimination, bureaucracy, misinformation, fear, and anger. I hope that I can beat these back in my corner of the world, in my work and in my life.

But I know that my views may conflict with colleagues or students or others I may encounter. And I may make assumptions about their values because I hold my values so dear, believing for a moment that they must hold my values close as well. When I encounter others with strong religious beliefs, I check myself for bias and assumptions because my faith comes out of secular humanism. When I encounter others who may have particular views about the rights of particular groups of people, I check myself and measure my conversation with respect, but I cannot back down when it comes to oppression and discrimination. When I encounter those who are afraid, I must remember that I have little to be fearful of when others may have much. When I encounter people who seem so positive with little thought to the atrocities of the world, I don’t challenge, I suggest: books, movies, articles, documentaries that changed and challenged my understanding and my views. I’m careful not to push those views on others. They will resent that action; they will become defensive and fight harder for their beliefs. When I encounter people with little social capital or privilege, I am reminded of my own privilege in exploration, in being an artist, in family support, in choices I made because I was able to make those choices. Not everyone has the freedom that I had to experiment and fail and try again. But I do want to encourage others in whatever choices they make, whatever values they hold, whatever life they want to lead.

2 Responses to “Competency E: How My World View Impacts My Work With Others”

  1. Anne Lapour says:

    Beautifully written and expressed. Have there been particular moments in your one-on-one work with students where you see your worldview and assumptions challenging you?

    • Although no one particular moment comes to mind, I know that whenever I encounter students who are reluctant to explore options, in academics or careers, that might have less monetary payoff, I tend to champion those options. Because I’ve always followed my heart to guide my choices and not my material needs, I hope that students will see the value in doing the same. But then I need to remind myself that their values are not my values, and they might have more need for material possessions, or prestige, or influence, or power, or security. This conversation definitely happens in my head a lot!

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