“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” — Nelson Mandela
My experiences have shown me that in the process of working for social justice outwardly, it is also important for me to continue to critically examine myself; shedding attitudes/behaviors that are oppressive, to make room for those that are more inclusive and humanitarian.
I seek to live a life that is fruitful in working toward improving the human condition…to intentionally live in a manner that shows respect for all human beings by fostering caring, mutually respectful relationships. This can only be achieved by having a commitment to continuous learning.
This Blog will include quotes, personal accounts and reflections, news stories, or other artifacts that I feel have an impact on my development as I work to become a better human.
I truly believe that we are all teachers and learners.
Through Truth-Telling: the honest sharing of my own experiences, I hope to teach you a little about myself, hopefully enabling you to be able to learn a little about yourself through my stories. If you comment on my posts, it will allow me as well as other readers unique opportunities to be able to be able to learn from you as well.
Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.) will also be a platform for some of my writings on issues of equity and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.
Readers can expect to engage in critical thinking around our social identities, and how we fit into the complicated web of power, privilege, & oppression as parts of our identities can place us in positions of privilege, while others can leave us vulnerable to discrimination.
Although I may address some difficult topics in my writing (definitely for myself, possibly for you as well), know that my work isn’t about playing the victim, causing white guilt, class guilt, hetero guilt, or any other kind of guilt. It’s about the ongoing pursuit to become more humane to those around me. It’s about systemic accountability and social equity. It’s about increasing self and other awareness.
Ultimately, it’s about coalition building. If we all can see that we play a role in how conditions are either improved or perpetuated, the hope is that it will help us to be able to want to work together.
N.A.H. on Facebook, Twitter
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You can connect with me on twitter @Relando_T
and can also follow Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.) on twitter @N_A_H_Blog
I hope to publish new Notes at least twice monthly, but I also leave a lot of room for posting out of spontaneous inspiration and/or special projects. Be sure to check back every now and then for new posts. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive notifications of new Notes via email.
UPDATE April 2014: I created an ongoing list of my favorite Notes, that can be found here.
I am an Aspiring Humanitarian, with an emphasis on the term “Aspiring”. I accept the fact that my personal growth will be a lifelong process.
Learn with me..
Grace & Peace,
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins
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