Saturday, September 3, 2022

The labors of Hercules - 54 years as a Psychiatric Social Worker

I am reminded of the phrase "The labors of Hercules."

I was thinking yesterday, "After almost 54 years in the field, what do you have to show for what you have produced in your field?"

The answer is "nothing." What we do is not tangible, not concrete, there is nothing to show for all our work.

Some of us have written articles, books, maybe created institutes or organizations, etc. but most therapists labor with nothing to show for all their work.

However there is an intrinsic satisfaction and a faith in the development of humanity which keeps us going. There is the saving of souls when we have facilitated the maturing of higher levels of consciousness that has enhanced the quality of their lives and the people they are in relationship with. So how can our labor be said to produce nothing?

What we generate though is ephemeral. It is unseen. It's of the type of experience we attempt to describe by saying, "Well I can't put it into words. You would have had to have been there to know what I am talking about."

"Aren't you David Markham?"

"Yes, I am."

"You probably don't remember me. I am 43 now and I saw you when I was eleven and you saved my life. Your office was on Ridge Rd, right?"

"Yes, that's right, about 30 years ago."

"I always wanted to tell what a difference the counseling made to me."

We talked a bit more. What a gift.

So this labor day, I celebrate such experiences. We never know, do we Frank, what our work is producing? We are creating and intentionally producing experiences, not things, and so there is nothing to show but sometimes there are memories and the experience of a higher quality life which contributes to a greater sense of well being which some call happiness.

What have we done with our lives? We have helped people experience happiness.

Now that is labor well worth engaging in even if we have nothing to show for it.

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