My son turns four in September and my wife and I were pleasantly surprised at one of his biggest discoveries of his toddler years – the power of the “why?” This is one of our recent conversations. I say, “Son, daddy will be right back.” He says, “Why daddy?” I say, “Because daddy has to go get something from the store.” And my little boy says, “Why daddy?” Realizing I’m being setup for an endless “Why” session, I ask, “Would you like daddy to bring you back something nice?” To which he excitedly replies “Yeah!” One for daddy!
From time to time I do consider my reasons for doing and believing some of the things I do. As such, my son’s fascination with “why” has led me to some “why” questions of my own. One of which is “Why did I decide to become a counselor?” I have a number of friends who are ministers and I often hear them speak about their “call” to ministry. They describe an almost divine-like experience in which their purpose in life was revealed to them. And from that day forward, they plunge themselves into fulfilling this purpose. They enroll in theology school where they learn Hebrew and Greek and after graduation they intern with a seasoned minister for a few years until they are assigned their own church where they serve and cater to the spiritual needs of their members. While our profession is different from preachers, I have reasons to believe that many of us experience our own “calling”. Since high school, career inventories have been indicating that my ideal career is in the ‘helping’ profession. I veered from that “calling” for years and sampled other professions such as IT and Business. Now, like Jonah from the Bible I am where I tried to avoid but need to be and also where I find great fulfillment. Why did you decide to become a counselor? Would you say being a counselor is your true calling and purpose in life? I believe it is mine.
Another “why” question I have been contemplating is, “Why am I blogging at ACA?” I initially joined ACA because it was ‘recommended’ when I started grad school. I started blogging here because I love sharing, writing and learning. I believe this forum gives me a unique opportunity to learn from colleagues who are far more experienced than I am while at the same time improving my writing skills. This is the reason why I value and actually look forward to receiving comments from readers. I view comments as ways for counselors to directly contribute to the growth of their colleagues. While I personally would love to comment on some of my colleagues’ posts, I suspect I may only annoy them with my many questions born out of curiosity and lack of experience in certain subject matters.
So, “Why did I write this blog entry?” I believe there are growth opportunities for us and our clients if we reflect on why we believe some of the things we do which actually govern our actions, words and thoughts. We have a special calling to serve the mental, emotional, and at times spiritual needs of our clients while doing the same for ourselves. So I wrote this blog for all of us and in honor of my curious little boy. May your own “why” session be a rewarding experience and if possible, lead you to an even greater purpose.
Pete Saunders is a counselor-in-training at Capella University. He also writes a weekly blog and conducts a weekly video interview on manhood at razorsanddiapers.com