Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 30 seconds.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22: 35-39)
If you are a hiring manager, my starting with that quote would likely make you nervous, as it would for many. I get it. To introduce yourself as a Christian conjures frightful images for many, none of which apply to me, but which I am fully aware of the sources. So before I go any further, I encourage you to remain calm and follow with me.
You see, it’s important to start here for two reasons, both related to my profession. The first relates to intrinsic motivation. If you are going to survive and thrive in this profession, you need a motivation beyond a mere desire to help people. What will you do when you receive the ingratitude you surely will experience when you do your best for others?
If you say, “well, this is not my motivation,” I would smile and say, “that’s fine: what is your motivation?” And if you were to ask me for more specifics regarding my motivation, I would grin and reply, “Why is that important to you?” In short, it’s not about me: it’s about you and whatever I can do to help you.
The second reason is simple: it creates a foundation for understanding who I am and how I got here. Everything that follows, both on this blog and, more importantly, all that I do, stems from a dedication to this simple quote which started at an early adult age.
After a lifetime of practice in which I have preferred to be known by what I do (while staying silent as to what I believe), I now realize, at least for those I am proposing to work for, to not start here is to eliminate the foundation for understanding who I am.
All religions, when stripped of their baggage, point to a journey one must travail, and the above is no different. The opportunity cost for all spiritual journeys is material and career success, a cost few are willing to pay. Among those who have paid this cost, I have yet to meet anyone who regrets it.
The benefits I offer to you.
My pursuit and passion for understanding “mind” led to a broad and deep liberal arts education, some of it formal, much of it informal. Philosophy, theology, religious studies, history, literature, psychology and sociology are all subjects with long taproots within my education. If I were to assign college credits to everything I studied, I would likely have, not one, but two bachelors in liberal arts.
Yet, none of these subjects or degrees are listed on my resume. Instead, I have a Bachelor’s in I.T (with emphasis in Software Engineering), and a Master’s in Social Work. The former testifies to the strength of my deductive mind in logic, reason, and analysis. The later provided the framework for putting it all together in a practical way for the benefit of others and testifies to my inductive reasoning.
My pursuit and passion for understanding “heart” led to a broad and deep ethnographic experience. I followed my inner voice into a vast array of experiences and singular journeys with people from many races, ethnicities, creeds, and cultures. I have a talent for building therapeutic relationships because I can relate to the deepest passions and fears of most people, either from personal experience, or through vicariously walking alongside others in similar situations. I have a talent for building community because, although the context is different for each unique life, the themes remain the same and are shared by all.
My pursuit and passion for understanding “soul” can best be described through a quote by B.F. Skinner, who once said “education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” If learning is gained through the application of our mind, and heart is correlated with experience, then education is the soul of who we are.
How do I know this about myself? It isn’t from degrees, accolades, or rewards, nor is it from quantifiable statistics on a resume, nor is it from any success I have achieved in my life. Rather, it is from the testimony and thankfulness of my neighbors.
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” If the first part of the above quote is the theory, then loving your neighbor is a practice model. If you want to know whether you are making an impact, ask your neighbor, and adjust your behavior accordingly.
The same man who provided this theory and practice to live by also provided a measurement tool. “The greatest among you shall be a servant to all.” I have failed many times to live up to these lofty ideals, and I in no way expect that I shall ever be perfect in their pursuit. However, each failure has lent a brick towards the foundation of my success, and my foundation is solid. As many have noted, perfection is not a goal or destination; rather, it is the process or journey.
Do you echo what I am saying? Then let’s talk.