I have been thinking a lot this past week about "Broken People". "Broken People" are those (per my dictionary) that are in despair, having a break from tranquility, divided, disconnected. We have a lot of people hurting in our community. A lot. More often than you would imagine, students are in our offices sharing that they just don't know if they can do it any longer - they can't keep up the facade, the Super Leader mode, the smile when they are dying inside. In the context of organizations based on Brotherhood and Sisterhood, I continually wonder how we can do more to support those in our midst that are broken? We have those among us, maybe you, that are carrying a load that is too much, too challenging, too hard to handle. What do we, as a community, do with that reality?
The examples I share are over the course of the past 3 years - but, please know that there are many with these experiences. Here are the ways that I experience your peers as feeling broken. It is my privilege to accompany you (and your peers) as you face these things, but I only see about 10% of our community on a regular basis. I am overwhelmed when I say that I have interacted with members of our community about all of these issues over the past 3 years?
- Parents divorcing
- Parent death
- End of a significant relationship
- Unable to pay for tuition
- Lonely - even in the midst of a crowd
- Parent with a substance abuse problem
- Deceit in a trusted relationship
- Sibling moving away and losing that support
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Major illness: Family members or self
- Poor grades
- The drive for perfection - and not being able to attain it
How do we support each other? How do we move to a place of asking more than "How are you?" and moving on? How do we reach out to those that are feeling isolated? How do we truly wait for an answer to hear how others are REALLY doing?
As I consider the idea of community, I ask you to consider:
Why does it matter if "we" are OK?