Skip to main content

View Diary: Taking Issue With Idealism (68 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Social work is different that social change and (5+ / 0-)

    both are important. Social work is addressing the here and now, patching up the casualties of the current society, and trying to move things forward a bit. Social change is focusing on changing laws, institutions, wealth/income distribution, and culture that prevents systemic change. Both social work and social change are really important, and neither is necessarily better than the other. But they are certainly not the same thing.

    I am glad for all the social workers who do what they do. I personally don't have the patience to do that work, and I would get frustrated and burned out in much less than a month. Social change is more my orientation.

    Social change is also frustrating, especially in this time when most of one whole political party is dedicated to moving our society back to the early 1800s and they have been much more successful in the past 30 years than I ever could have imagined. But then there is something like the issue of gay marriage – that I expected to take centuries and instead is advancing at lightning speed (just a couple of decades) – that encourages and entices me into continuing the struggle.

    For those going into social work, thinking that they will change the world is naive. It is better to scale down expectations and be realistic. But those going into social change must think they will change the world (at least somewhat) or they are wasting their time. As Thoreau said "In the long run, men [people] hit only what they aim at… they’d better aim at something high."

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site