Because social workers spend their lives helping the less fortunate, they have generally experienced the highs and lows of human existence. By looking to them for life lessons, people can learn quite a bit about how to improve their own behavior as they advance through the years. Below are six wonderful maxims that social workers have long known to be true.
1) Humor Can Ease Pain
During the darker periods in life, when a close family member is suffering from a serious illness, humor can give people the will to go on. In fact, laughing with friends is an important part of the human condition and is nearly essential for a beneficial existence. In the aftermath of tragic events, humor is the one true way in which people can begin to cope with what has happened. Laughing makes the soul lighter and allows people to grow closer.
2) Helping Others is the Golden Rule of Life
Social workers dedicate their entire lives to the well-being of others, and those people who wish to have good legacies would do well to follow this rule. By giving their time, money, and energy, individuals will be able to assist others in finding their own paths to happiness. Soup kitchens and toy drives are two specific ways in which the less fortunate might receive help from people who have been luckier in life.
3) Personal Relationships Are Everything
In the sea of life, social workers are also well aware that personal relationships are everything. Though material possessions are surely nice, most human beings will be lacking a true purpose without others to share their lives with. Though friendships are wonderful, romantic relationships are truly the highest form of bliss. Couples who are able to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with each other will only grow spiritually. Loneliness, on the other hand, is a killer and should be avoided at all costs.
4) Smiling Opens the Door to Friendship
Having been trained in how to deal with all kinds of people, most social workers will also recognize that a big, bright smile can cure a range of ills. By greeting someone with a smile, people will be opening themselves up to all kinds of opportunities. Some individuals walk around with stoic expressions on their faces without any realization that others likely view them as closed-off. By committing themselves to smiling more frequently and to making eye contact with passersby, the world will immediately seem a much warmer place.
5) Grieving Has a Rightful Place in Human Existence
In the course of events, everyone will have to deal with the loss of loved ones. Death, as they say, is a natural part of life, and grieving is a perfectly acceptable response. By mourning loved ones who have passed on, most people are simply being honest with themselves. This can be a source of inner comfort. Because social workers are often involved with helping people who have been touched by death, others can seek to emulate their grace and humility in their own lives.
6) Stress and Worry Are Vastly Overrated
At last, in the culmination of our list, we come to something that has long been known by social workers but that is still pushed aside by the general population. Because life is short, most people should try to enjoy each and every second of existence. Though stress and worry are sometimes necessary, spending too much time in the grip of anxiety will only rob people of the time that they do have. The key is to avoid sweating the small stuff.
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Derek Sawyer is a social worker and guest author at Best Social Work Programs, where he contributed to the guide to the Top 10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree Programs.