You must have the courage to be loyal. Doing so is not always easy. It starts, however, with loyalty to yourself–your standards, your systems, your values. Compromising them, especially under the banner of expediency, is disloyalty, a betrayal of yourself. ~Coach John Wooden.
I am not always loyal to myself. Sometimes I betray myself in a blaze of arrogance (more on that in an upcoming post). I see myself as a good listener, but I must admit that sometimes I like to take the stage. As a result, I do more talking than listening.
But, this is only when I am sure of myself. Community work makes me far less sure of myself. I am stepping beyond what I know. This puts me into explorer mode. I am learning more than teaching. And, that makes me a better listener. This is especially true in my work with the Healthy Community Collaborative of Mason Square. HCC is a program of the Mason Square Health Task Force, bringing together a group of groups.
From Jan 2011-Sept 2012, I regularly attended meetings with HCC. The group is undergoing some changes, but I believe the relationships forged will prove worthwhile for all of the participants. I’ve learned so much! Here’s a clip from one of the groups–Men of Color Health Awareness (MOCHA), a remarkable community program addressing health disparities for men of color. Their work inspires me to be loyal to my standards and my values. What I learn from these men will inform the systems I develop for providing health information services.