• December 4, 2021
 Op-Ed: I Am

Op-Ed: I Am

I wrote this poem because this is how I see myself in the world. Too often people present those in the helping profession as if they are bestowing gifts and opportunity on people.

I don’t see it that way. I see myself as a partner. I think seeing it any other way is prescribing to that old view of charity where the giver is morally superior, and the receiver is somehow morally inept. I see it as infantilizing.

I want to be a partner to people, to the community. I think that is truly what social work is. It’s filling in the gaps.


I am a bridge.

I connect the hungry to food,

the homeless to shelter,

the isolated to community,

the hopeless to hope. I am a bridge.

I am a ladder.

I support ascension from despair,

climbing toward goals,

reaching for opportunities,

stepping up to potential. I am a ladder.

I am a jar.

I preserve awareness of culture,

access to knowledge and resources,

the right to autonomy and choice,

dignity and compassion. I am a jar.

I am a paintbrush.

I create bold demonstrations of justice,

opportunities to reflect,

freedom to express emotion,

images of what could be. I am a paintbrush.

I am not a savior,

a blessing,

an angel,

a hero.

I do not save, I connect.

I do not bestow charity, I support.

I do not divinely protect, I preserve.

I do not rescue, I create.

I am a bridge.

I am a ladder.

I am a jar.

I am a paintbrush.

I am a social worker.

Author:  Ashley Heidebrecht – Borderland Rainbow Center


Guest Columnist

Guest Columnists are residents who feel so strongly about a news event, a story or some other issue, that they decided to put their thoughts to paper - or computer screens. Or they are writers who have made their work available via other channels and we feature their work here, with permission. If you'd like to submit a column, please contact us at news@epheraldpost.com

Related post

El Paso Herald Post Download the new ElPasoHeraldPost.com app and get notifications for community news, deals and community calendar info. Your info is never shared and we would love for you to share our app with your friends!
Allow Notifications