In 2004 I began working with young men and women involved in the Juvenile Justice system. At the time I was green to the field with so much to learn. This week, in a meeting with one of our community partners, I was complimented for my knowledge of this population and this type of work. After the meeting I began to reflect on the comment. I have never been good at receiving compliments, but the phrase “my knowledge” stood out to me. I was reminded of a quote from Thich Nhat Han, “The Buddhist way of understanding is always letting go of our views and knowledge in order to transcend.” Upon reflecting on 2011 I am reminded of the loss we have experienced this year in our work with youth. Too many funerals, too many youth sent to prison. The knowledge I hold is that there is so much more we need to understand in order to transcend issues of violence in our city. So today rather than clinging to a false hope, I am reminded to simply attempt to understand, ask a question and wonder, “What don’t we understand?” “A discovery is an accident meeting a prepared mind.” We need to discover these issues with fresh perspective. Are you with me? We have so much to learn.
-Nate Harrise, MA, LICSW, Clinical Director, Trinity Boston Counseling Center