REFLECTIVE ESSAY ON BARBADOS 5
ReflectiveEssay on Barbados
ReflectiveEssay on Barbados
Iwas lucky and honored to work in a social work project in Barbados afew weeks ago, as it was a mind opening experience. I was hoping tojust have some learning experience in Barbados but it turns out thatI learnt so much more. It is notable that, I was able to interact andlearn about the importance of communication and collectivism in thesociety. I realized that learning is a continuous process which isnot just limited to earning a degree by sitting in a classroom. Theentire experience taught me to be humble and also make reflection onmyself as an individual, a member of the society as well as a socialworker. The experience also renewed my commitment towards educationas I decided to make it a life-long process. Most importantly, theexperience taught me the importance of building relationship, andmade me realize that it is ok to let my guard down in order to animpact on the people surrounding me (Cree,2013).In this self-reflection essay, I will share my experience and what Ilearnt in Barbados during my short stint.
Mybrief stay at Barbados turned out to be shorter that I expected as Iwas busy and constantly engaged. When I came to Barbados I was justlooking forward to learn. However, I was impressed with what happenedover the next couple of days as the learning experience was anamazing journey for me. I was very impressed by the adults ofBarbados need and desire to learn. Barbados may not be endowed withas much resources as the U.S, but the adults in Barbados found everyopportunity or turned any experience into a learning experience. Forinstance, the adults I met at the Ministry of Education and Scienceand Innovation center during one of my visit were very inquisitive.They would ask not just any questions but relevant questions on howvarious subjects affected their lives. However, what I realized asvery impressive is that, the adults did not just acquire theinformation and keep it for themselves but they shared information.This taught me the need for collectivism as opposed to individualismwhich is practiced back in the U.S (Healy,2001).Collectivism encouraged the adults to collaborate in seeking to findsolutions to environmental problems and helped them to not just lookat their own impact but also how the society is affected. This was aprofound moment for me a social worker because I am usually expectedto focus on individual and their impact on the society. However, thisnew way of thinking introduced a new dimension of looking at thing inlife. I realized that the reason that sets the people of Barbadosapart from those in the U.S is having a collective sense ofresponsibility in that, everyone looks at themselves as theirbrother’s or sister’s keeper and the effects of collectivism wereincredible. Collectivism also helped the people of Barbados feel thatthey belong to something special. Through their government assistedprograms, each member of the community was equally remunerated andthis helped the members engage and interact more in the society(Fook,2002).
Oneof the most crucial lessons I learnt as a social worker was theimportance of humility. Humility is a crucial character trait foranyone who is working with the society. Humility does not reduce oneto not knowing anything but prepares one on their willingness tolearn and be willing to be corrected. During my self-reflection, Iunderstood the importance of humility when it comes to the society.Humility allows one to build a rapport that is based on building arelationship of trust and respect (Shlomo,Drorit, & Itzhaky, 2012).In other words, humility enables one to put their own notions asideand be ready to learn new things. It also helps one to get moreinformation from individuals since people form a relationship that isbuilt on trust and respect creating an atmosphere of mutual sharing.The lesson on humility is probably what I would take off the mostfrom my learning experience and indeed in my professional experienceas a social worker.
Buildingrelationships is a crucial issue that one should have at theirworkplace especially as a social worker. Building relationships isanother crucial element in life as a social worker because it enablesone to learn from others experiences and enables one to openthemselves up and share their own experience (Doel,2012).After all, this is what collectivism is all about. Buildingrelationships is sometimes not an easy thing to as one has to puttheir guard down for a moment. But the people of Barbados have taughtme friendships can be a risk but the benefits of having arelationship far outdo the costs of not having one. I also realizedthe effects of my words on other people at work. I should always havea positive attitude and a positive impact on the people surroundingme. Rather than bring the people I am working with down, it is myresponsibility to ensure that people feel warm around me.
Inconclusion, though there are challenges in the society, the people ofBarbados taught me to turn any negative opportunity into a learningexperience. In fact, I have made a commitment towards learning as alife-long experience. I would highly recommend other social workersto visit other countries such as I did and learn from what othersocieties around the world are doing.
Cree,V. E. (2013). Becominga Social Worker: Global Narratives.New Jersey: Routledge.
Doel,M. (2012). SocialWork: The Basics.New Jersey: Routledge.
Fook,J. (2002). SocialWork: Critical Theory and Practice.New York: Sage.
Healy,L. M. (2001). InternationalSocial Work: Professional Action in an Interdependent World.London: Oxford University Press.
Shlomo,S. B., Drorit, L., & Itzhaky, H. (2012). Developmentof Personal Identity among Social Work Students: ContributingFactors.Retrieved March 17, 2015, from Taylor & Francis online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07325223.2013.733305?journalCode=wcsu20#preview