Love is a Professional WordApril 25, 2023 |
Last year, I attended "Keeping Families Together," a one-day event put on by Our Sister Our Brother. We had the good fortune of having Aysha Schomburg, Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, give a welcome address.
Associate Commissioner Schomburg spoke of the urgent need to provide supports and resources to keep families safely together, and prevent family separation. She called on us - all of us - to see ourselves in those that we seek to serve. To resist seeing ourselves as separate. To observe the systems we are within and to examine the parts causing harm to our communities and our future.
She also said something that particularly struck me. She said:
"Love is a professional word."
I wrote that phrase down so it could marinate in my mind.
We don't speak much of love in the workplace. Love is usually considered personal, while work is concrete, cerebral, and physical. Love is too gooey or unreasonable for the structure of work. The professional is supposed to be clean, structured, and contained... right?
But why do we work? And why, especially, are we doing this work?
I bet that when you answer that question for yourself, the answer, in its most distilled, essential form, comes back to love. Perhaps it is out of love for the people your job is seeking to serve. For your own community. For your children, or the children in your life. For the world you'd like them to live in. For your own family and for yourself, since you're working to generate an income that supports meeting your needs. For love of your team. For love of what you do, and the feeling it gives you when you know it to be meaningful.
The Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran wrote 'Work is love made visible.' What we are doing is out of love. And if love is why we work, it can also be how we approach our work.
When we approach our work with love, we start doing what love would do. And that's when our human-serving systems can truly serve the humanness of humanity - all its frustrating, emotional, fearful, fascinating, and complicated nature.
If you'd like to attend a professional event that embraces love, I encourage you to register for the 29th Statewide Child Abuse Prevention Conference occurring on July 18 and 19 at the Phoenix Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa. You may explore more about the event and register by clicking the button below.
Claire Louge is the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Arizona (PCAAZ), a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families and protecting children through collaboration, education and advocacy. Claire obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Cornell University and her Masters of Education in Human Relations from NAU. She is also certified to teach the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework, and speaks on a number of topics related to community solutions to child maltreatment and professional resilience. Claire co-chairs Together for Arizona, a collective impact for child safety and well-being, and chairs the Prevention Workgroup of the Arizona Governor’s Child Safety and Family Empowerment Commission. In her volunteer time, Claire organizes theatrical role-play adventure events for teens in partnership with youth-serving organizations. She is a mom of a daughter named Kira, a Scrabble enthusiast, and loves shopping at thrift stores.
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