Last week I only had events two nights of the week, and it was glorious. I will no longer be working with my refugee family, for lack of vision and lesson plans on my part, and one church group on Wednesday nights has disbanded gracefully.
I can’t express how much of a relief it is. I feel like I’m breathing again. I am doing some things on the side, learning among them, but it feels nothing like before.
Now, I just finished listing to the audio book of “When Helping Hurts” and want to write about that. Having a degree in Anthropology, I learned the angles that can be used for getting a holistic picture of any particular culture. I learned the tools to think critically about peoples and groups and values and traditions and things. But I have yet to apply that knowledge to any specific culture. I also get really excited about language and have a bad history of trying to learn more than is realistic or healthy. As I listened through “When Helping Hurts”, it began to dawn on me just how much knowledge and experience must go into effectively helping even just one group of people. It was very humbling as I realized that my lofty language goals and desire to know many cultures are a mix of arrogance, ignorance, and disconnect from reality. Less a desire to help all of those people, my wish to learn many languages stems primarily from the desire to be cool.
So I’m in the process of simplifying, and I feel I am getting much more done, but there’s plenty work to be done still.