June 06, 2010
I believe that there is something special about the people living in the Southwestern region of our great nation, and it flows into all that they do. It may be the effect of endless sunny days or the wonderfully low humidity common to most of the area, but whatever it is, I wish I could take a few gallons with me.
It's not that they're somehow better than the good folks in any other region of our country. Rather, they seem to wear their friendliness, compassion, and hope on their sleeve, where all can see it and everyone seems to benefit in some fashion from it.
I was reminded of this wonderful quality when I spent two days in El Paso, Texas as part of the HRC/PATH training team. Our team was there to offer a free two-day training on “Promoting Wellness: An Integrated Approach to Homeless Service Delivery”.
It is always a privilege for me to help others to improve their skill sets. And it is an even bigger privilege that I get to learn from those I'm charged with instructing. The folks attending this training didn't disappoint in this regard. They brought incredible knowledge and compelling personal examples to the sessions, not to mention an engaging and cheerful demeanor that made the overall effort so enjoyable!
Of special note, as a consumer/provider, I regularly disclose portions of my past concerning homelessness and recovery when training. The experiences I endured are often relevant to our discussions. Disclosing my personal history to the folks in El Paso brought an outpouring of support and encouragement. It took me by pleasant surprise and made me feel even more comfortable with sharing and exploring efforts to bring a better level of care to those we interact with on a daily basis.
I cannot thank the training attendees enough for providing me with an incredibly uplifting, informative, and invigorating experience. I hope I was able to reciprocate in some small way by leaving them with some new tools in their toolbox to better assist those who seek our help and care.
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