I have never blogged before and I’m not sure what makes a good read, but I was told to look inward and speak from the heart. I don’t always know how to put what my heart says into print, so I began looking through some quotes to help get my mind and soul working together. Lo and behold, I found a simple phrase that resonated and echoed my feelings about working with the homeless population—“Dream, but don’t sleep.” The author of that quote is Liz Murray. Many people familiar with the homeless know her as the girl who overcame great adversity and rose from homelessness and went on to grace the halls of Harvard. Her story may not be common place, but there is a common theme—to dream.
Dreaming is a thread that is woven through all life (watch a dog run through the air next time it’s sleeping if you don’t believe me). Dreams are mysteriously powerful. They can make a person’s heart race, palms sweat, and muscles tighten. They can make someone somber, ecstatic, or inspired. Regardless of the outcome, dreams are always a catalyst that put mind or body in motion. Some individuals only allow their dreams to propagate during sleep. Liz helped voice my theme by saying to not let that be the case—take action. Dreams attempt to make the body gesticulate. Letting a dream stagnate is a corruption of its own intent.
My personal dream is to reach out and better the lives of those around me. I may not be the best social worker on the planet, but I do strive to cultivate dreams. That does not mean that I push my own agenda on a client, or bottleneck them into an uncomfortable situation, but I do try to push them to follow their dreams.
Jobs similar to mine are the most effective at helping clients sustain when the soul is nurtured. Resources can be taught or given, but true healing and progress can only be measured within an individual. I end this blog and go about my day with that fresh in my mind. I encourage any reader to strive to foster their imaginings. Life is short—please don’t sleep your dreams away.
Aaron Pryor has been a case coordinator on the Homeless Outreach Team at Aurora since May 2010. He is a graduate of University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelors of Social Work. Aurora is Aaron’s first job as a Social Worker, but this employment is by no means his first encounter working with disadvantaged populations. He began volunteering with the Daniel Pitino Shelter in Owensboro, Kentucky at the young age of 12 and continued doing so off and on into his 20’s. He has also volunteered with Red Cross Disaster Relief and Ameri-Corps over the years. When he isn’t working hard, he is playing hard chasing the next ace in disc golf or chasing the heart of his beloved girlfriend Jacey.
To learn more about the Homeless Outreach Team, visit our website www.auroraevansville.org.