Mark and I attended a reception last night in celebration of the 100th anniversary of OSU’s College of Social Work, founded in 1919. Our father, Joe Palmer, was an alum of the College and a member of their Hall of Fame. The event was held in a large hangar at Don Scott Field – a wonderful venue. Tom Gregoire, Dean of the College, shared some wonderful reflections; I’d like to share two of them in this issue of WealthNotes.
The first is that the problems impacting our world today are really not that different from 100 years ago. He quoted from one of the College’s first newsletters that challenges impacting immigrants and families living in poverty would need to be addressed by the social workers graduating from the College. We know that these and related problems continue to beset this nation of prosperity 100 years later. Tom’s point – there is no finish line in the work of helping others and making the world a better place.
And second, Tom reminded all of us that social workers by definition get up every day thinking about someone other than themselves. The very nature of their work is to be other focused, rather than me focused. In a culture driven by my needs, my wants, my plans, how refreshing to have people that think first about others. He even reminded us that while many people are rolling up windows and locking car doors while driving through rough neighborhoods, social workers are driving into those neighborhoods, parking and getting out to help!
We may not all be social workers but the Dean’s comments are life lessons for us as well. We too may have challenges in our life that don’t seem to change – a broken relationship; a habit we wish we could break; struggles in certain areas of our life. There may be no finish line to these – they may be battles we fight all through our lives. But, like social workers of 100 years ago and today, let’s not give up, let’s persevere in striving to become all that God has made us to be.
Let’s also more and more become men and women for others – instead of men and women living primarily for ourselves. As we share ourselves (our time, our gifts and talents, and our financial resources) with those in need, we help them become all that they are capable of becoming and we receive the joy of giving, the greatest of joys.
Happy 100th Birthday, OSU College of Social Work – the work your graduates do is so important – and it’s work we can model in our lives too!