Saturday 21 March 2009

Member Character(s)--3 of 4

A Glimpse at the Character of...Me :-)
Birthday 21 March
Well, this is fun. It's my birthday.
Here are some things that have shaped my life and character.
1. At age one+, as I was exploring the world through my mouth, I somehow managed to get my brother's metal belt-buckle stuck in my throat. It would not dislodge, despite the best efforts of parents and nurses alike. My skin was turning blue due to the lack of oxygen. I am very grateful to still be alive.
2. At age eight I considered forming a motorcycle gang, when I was old enough, called the "Heaven's Devils". We would ride the North American streets and highways, specifically giving chase to members of the Hell's Angels, and thus protect fellow-citizens. To this date I have never really riden a motorcycle, but I have ridden in a lot of Buick's and Opels, as my father owned a Buick-Opel franchise.
3. At age 16, dressed from head to foot as a nun, in an all-white habit, and donning a gorilla mask, I went in disguise to a Halloween party at an all-girls high school. I was the only guy there, and I was accompanied into the party by a friend who attended the school. It was fun to try to do something a bit different.
4. At age 19, I had to chose a major/course of study in university. The two areas that interested me were marine science and psychology. I chose the latter, thinking that I could do more good for humans than for fish. I was also acutely aware that the end of the age could come at any time, and hence wanted to make the most of my life. This belief persists to this day.
5. At age 23, I finished a masters degree programme in clinical-community psychology. The community psychology emphasis (e.g. human strengths, various types of practitioners, resource development, creating new structures) has especially shaped my member care involvement internationally. My first choice had been to attend a doctoral programme in clinical psychology and theology, yet in retrospect, the delay in doing this doctorate was providential.
6. At age 27, I met a naiad-like being named Jane. Until this time, I was pretty convinced that I would be spending much of my life in Latin America, married to a California surfer lady. Really. Things change, of course. Just like Jane's name, which actually precedes her second name, Michele.

7. Finally, at age 52, shortly before my latest birthday, I had a few prescient-ish dreams in which I was talking to some colleagues around a table. You know this type of dream--sort of darkish and not being fully in control, but imbued with some existential/visceral sense of significance. I woke up missing colleagues and wanting to connect with mutual transparency and accountability. I liked these dreams. I like relational resiliency.
Reflection and Discussion
List a couple experiences that have helped to shape your character, life, and work.


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday. i'll turn 53 in less than a month, maybe I'll follow your example.

Member Care Associates said...

Yes and Happy St. Steve Day!