Skills & Things Accomplished

by jeannabauer

Recently, I finished up my second round of workshops at SEED. The first was on Skill Development & the second, Interview 101 (which turned into, “stop being so shy – think about last week”).

The room of varied skills was fascinating – weaving, carpentry, sewing, metal etching, farming, origami, cooking, embroidering, speaking 3 or 4 or 5 languages …
We shared stories of overcoming difficulties – passing national exams, fleeing Burma / crossing into Thailand, working while studying …
& reflected on times we’ve helped people – stopping friends from trying opium, saving a drowning baby, helping an old man cross the street …

Especially in marginalized communities, people tend to focus only on the things they cannot do or could improve on. It was lovely, watching the group giggle their way through the realization that – they’re pretty awesome.

The workshops were simple & fun, but they felt small. Then …

On my last night, I came home & was electronically greeted by two young Karen women I mentored in Minnesota. One wrote, reflecting on her year of AmeriCorps & the other sending word that she was midway through day one of college (& loving it).

A reminder, yet again, that being kind, listening & encouraging (even in itty-bitty increments) can kick-start incredible accomplishments.

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