Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Law of Large Numbers

                I spent the weekend at a university sponsored leadership retreat. It was a direct result of me signing up for anything the university sends me. That mentality has given me some weird results but I don’t mind being out of my comfort zone anymore. At the very least I expected free meals for the weekend, but I came home with so much more.
                My first thought when we boarded the bus to Springfield was there were a lot of people and way too little time to interact with all of them. Especially since everyone else was cliquey. When the workshop started all the walls came down. We all had a common bond, interest in leadership and how to battle adversity while leading. It was good because social change was on all of our minds so we didn’t have to hide it behind small talk.
                There’s things the program leaders expected me to take away, but I think I sneaked in a lesson by myself. Sure they may have pressed the issue of inclusiveness but I took some free range on that idea. Forty seemed like a lot of people for just one day. At the end though, it felt like such a small amount. Communities make large numbers irrelevant. It’s not forty people, it’s one individual with the passion and characteristics of forty. Diversity in thought and background brings a community together, not tear it apart. I know it seems like I’m contradicting just to contradict, but really I’m just shedding light on misconceptions that have been internalized. Think of a community through the law of large numbers, the more people there are, the closer to the actual mean it will get. So through diversity on both ends of the spectrum, we can come together to truly represent the population, which is what social change is all about.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting an education

                Life is busy at college, that’s for sure. There is time for me to write, but I’ve just been so tired I don’t have words to say, but it is nice, not having thoughts pop in and out at moments. When I really need to just rest my mind, it just rests. There’s no anxiety that I’ll do bad, or I’m making the wrong choices, there’s just silence around and stillness in my mind. I enjoy not thinking. There’s no other way to put it.
                Today has been a little bit different. For one of my classes, “Intro to Insurance” we had a guest speaker talk about his professional experience as a “long term care” agent. It’s something not a lot of people put thought in to, “that won’t happen to me,” or “my family will take care of me.” The truth is, it has to happen to someone, and asking that much from family can put a lot of stress on relationships. So why avoid it?
                The guest speaker told his story, about how he switched from clinical psychology to the insurance game mid-life.  It’s listening to people like him that loosen the anxiety. Life doesn’t have to be set in stone, and a lot of the time you have to roll with the punches and change plans. His life was interrupted when his father became very ill, and the family was having a hard time providing care by themselves. He continued on about how the lack of preparation for his father’s old age started to change his life completely. I sat in class feeling like we shared a common bond. I saw in him that he moved to insurance to help others, not himself. It’s what drives me, starting my career so other college students don't have to go through what I went through. So other families don’t have to suffer too. It was good to know thirty years down the road that success to even higher-ups is first measured in personal satisfaction, which is best obtained by helping others.
                There are a lot of us, going into different fields for all the right reasons. All of us attempting to make the world a better place for others, not just ourselves. You can’t tell me that people are evil after that. I see the good, because it’s easy to see. Maybe so many see the bad in others, because when they look into the mirror they see bad in themselves. If we judge people, we’re really only judging our own perception.