........MY CIRCLE OF COURAGE.......
In order to be a leader, you must act from unconditional love. In order to act through love, you must first love yourself. In order to love yourself, you must first love your actions. In order to love your actions, you must first love your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. In order to love your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, you must first love your qualities, character, and values. In order to love your values, you must first live by your values. In order to live by and love your values, you must first be caring, compassionate, forgiving, grateful, honest, loyal, dependable, and understanding. When you live and love yourself in this way, then you naturally become a leader because others will love you also!_Kelli Patterson

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Its all about perspective and the willingness to be open and authentic in our ineractionns with others!

This week, the topic is paradigms! Who knew I would become so enthralled with a social science research class. Looks like what I thought would be the most dreaded class may end up being the most interesting and throught provoking. Just what I need to get my wheels a turnin! ;)

When you compared the two paradigms, symbolic interactionism and conflict, the differences in them made me think about the terms "givers" and "takers"

A friend and I were having lunch one day and during the conversation, he brought up a book that he was reading, "Givers and Takers." (Grant, 2013) My friend explained to me how the author noted that we tend to associate these terms with good/bad, dominant or submissive, or one more important than the next. He then pointed out that neither the givers nor the takers are any more or less important or better or worse than the other because the givers need people to give to just as much as the takers need to have someone to take from. Both would feel inadequate and most likely unhappy without the other. When you defined the conflict paradigm in your post, at first I may have had a negative connotation to it due to the competition; however, when relating it to the perception of the author, I had a very different perspective on it. It just reminds me that life, nature, and the universe itself most likely needs conflict, differences, and various perceptions in order to create a balance.

According to Popova, besides the givers and takers, there is also a group called the matchers. The takers are competitive (conflict paradigm), self-serving, and always put their pursuits above others in order to get ahead in life. (n.d.). The givers tend to put others needs above (or at least equal) to their own and are focused on how they can give and serve others without the need for recognition or expecting anything in return. (Popova, n.d.). The third type of person Popova identified, the "matchers," are identified as those individuals who seek out balance for the acts that they do. They believe in give and take and strive for fairness. (Popova, n.d.).

As your example for conflict paradigm, you identified individuals within an organization who are competing for the same position. According to research, the givers are the ones who tend to suffer most in the employment world and are the ones who fall to the bottom of the corporate ladder. (Popova, n.d.). In one specific study of 160 engineers that rated one another on performance, the engineers that were identified as "giving the most" were at the bottom of the ranks. (Grant, 2013). In a similar study, salesmen were examined with a similar result, the salesman who had the most concern for helping others were the ones who made the least amount of money. (Grant, 2013) I am curious on your thought on "givers" and "takers" in the sense of the conflict paradigm? Do you have an opinion as to which of the three types of people that you feel would dominate the competition, be of more value/worth, or which would end up on the bottom of the organizational structure?

If I were asked to determine which of the three types of people that I would consider to be of most worth or able to be the most successful, I would come up with a different answer depending on what "lens" or paradigm that I am utilizing to understand and determine my choice.

If I was using a conflict paradigm, I would say that the "takers" have it made because they are getting everything that they need to get ahead, wealth, knowledge, power, titles, status, and resources. With all of the materialistic items, information that others will give them, the willingness to fight for superiority, and access to resources, more than likely the takers are able to come across more opportunities, are willing to take risks because they can always take some more, and are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.

 If I were considering the same question through the ethnomethodology paradigm, I would most likely choose the "givers" to be the most successful because they are creating their realities through communication and interactions with others through their acts of kindness and generosity. These individuals are able to "create their realities" (Babbie, 2016 p. 36). What better way to be successful than to create the life and relationships that you want?

 Lastly, if I were asked to identify who I would think would be most successful based upon structural functionalism paradigm, I would most likely choose the "matchers." Matchers are able to think in broader terms, and at, both, micro and macro levels. Being able to focus on, both, the whole and individual people/moments so that balance is achieved and good/efficient functioning is occurring around them are important to matchers because they seek balance.

Based on the three different paradigms, I could identify very different types of individuals that could be considered superior, most successful, or most important in the grand scheme of things which is an important aspect to remember when we are forging out thoughts, theories, and opinions because our viewpoint may change based on which lens we choose to view the situation through. Paradigms are able to show that our thoughts and opinions should not remain fixed and that every scenario will offer many different perspectives that can be utilized by us to evolve and begin to more clearly understand people, events, and reasoning.

Since I spent so much time identifying the different types of people that I felt would be “successful” based on the different paradigms, it is time to grow our understanding even further by realizing that everyone’s definition of “success” could be vastly different. By determining what each of the three person view or perceive as successful within their own terms, it can help us, as social researchers, to understand what internal motivating factors contribute to the choices that each individual makes.

If I had to theorize, most likely takers are more extrinsically motivated by things such as praise, attention, wealth, status, etc. In the same sense, givers are most likely intrinsically motivated and make choices that are based on treating others how they would like to be treated, feeling good about being able to help bless someone in some way, and the joy that comes through friendships and associations that are forged in the bonds of service to others and sharing/giving process. Lastly, matchers would most likely be motivated from a force that is greater than themselves. A force that cannot be explained, could be internally and/or extrinsically motivated (most likely a little bit of both), and are able to realize that our inner world is just as important as the external. Viewing life in terms of “we” and understanding that “I” am just as important if “we” are to be successful, masters understand that through conflict, differences, and extremes, come an opportunity for understanding, collaboration, and understanding that will allow for fairness and balance to manifest in the world, individuals, and experiences.

With that being said, a givers idea of success could be summed up to quality experiences and internal values, a takers idea of success may be in terms of quantity, and what can be attained in life, and a matchers idea of success is the acceptance, balance, and peace that comes with being open to all sides, willingness to seize the moment (through both giving & taking), personal dedication to understanding and growth, and openness & transparency. Matchers prefer to refrain from labels, categories, and other extremes/barriers because they realize that it could hinder their ability to make authentic connections with others so that with each person, an even greater understanding of the universe as a whole is achieved. Every individual, every experience, every culture or land, every belief and norm, every beautiful difference that is witness has the opportunity to bring an even greater understanding and beauty to what we have already experienced or what it’s that we think we know! Taking in everything that we experience, witness, and learn, we may be being selfish, but when we turn around and share all of the same with others so that they too can become more worldly and educated, we become givers.

With each person with whom we cross paths with, there is an opportunity for us to learn and find something truly unique and beautiful within them so that we can turn around and share the findings with others so that hopefully we can spark that little spark of wonder and curiosity that will open their mind and send them on their own journey of knowledge and fulfillment. Just like experiencing life through a child’s eyes, the world suddenly isn’t explained in terms such as good or bad, pretty or ugly, or right or wrong, just different!

When life and experiences are no longer a competition or an argument for what is right or wrong or considered better or worse, acceptance of what is can be achieved that will allow for a realization that they key to life is acceptance of others and balance in all that we do and all that we are. For better functionality and better processes to be achieved, whether within each individual internally, within a group or organization , or as humanity as a whole, we must value and work on all of the things that make up who we are, find ways to work together while appreciating and valuing all that makes up who others are, and a dedication that what can be experienced as a whole, through love and acceptance for others, far surpasses anything that we could ever create and sustain by viewing ourselves as more worthy or as the center of the universe.

What one or few can achieve by separating themselves from others in a fight for superiority, power, or privilege, will never compare to the beauty in the reality that manifests from the positive energy and joyous moods of people who feel united with others and safe to be 100% authentically pure and true to who they are and who they want to become without the worry that they have to measure up to someone else’s standards, adhere to norms or pressure, or worry that they are being judged.

When it comes to maximum production, output, and functionality, there is one concept that has proven time and time again to be efficient and productive, balance! Whether biology, sociology, psychology, neurology, physiology, metaphysics, and physics, balance is key. If anything is to evolve in a more healthy and positive direction, whether internally/biologically, structurally, mechanically, functionally, or socially, there must be a balance of give and take and a sense of responsibility and respect for the whole!


Babbie, E. (2016).  The Basics of Social Research (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Grant, A. (2013, April) In the Company of Givers and Takers. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved on September 8, 2016 from

Popova, M. (n.d.). Givers, Takers, and Matchers: The Surprising Psychology of Success. Brain Pickings.Retrieved on September 8, 2016 from

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Trust is key! To connect with ourselves and our higher power. To connect with others and form rewarding relationships. To connect with the community and the world around us, TRUST in ourselves, trust in what energy we put out into the universe, and trust in the workings of the world around us is the KEY to living a beautiful life!

Although many may disagree with my opinion on how an organization should be ran, views on policies, procedures, and laws, I have a strong vision about how I want to live my life and run my own non-profit someday.  Below I am going to share with you guys a reflection and post for a class in my masters program at Walden University about gaining public trust and policies/procedures/ethics.............

Public Trust and the Non-Profit Sector

            Many proactive measures and other practices can create a strong and trusting relationship between the public/community and an organization that serves client’s needs within that community. Proactive measures that were identified as good ways to keep public trust and respect include having a clear code of ethics and supplying comprehensive training for human services professionals within an organization and a human services manager/administrator holding their employees to a high level of expectation and integrity in the way they handle themselves, both, within and outside of the organization. (Producer, 2011). Other practices that can help an organization to maintain public trust and transparency include making sure that all employees are trained and have proper certifications for the job in which they are assigned, regularly scheduled audits (internal and external), maintaining the confidentiality of information in regards to clients and donor supports, and keeping accurate and detailed financial records. (Producer, 2011).

In my opinion, the three most important steps that I can take to maintain public trust within any organization in which I work would be to:

  1. Make sure that I am properly trained to carry out the duties and assignments in which I am expected to complete.
  2. Live by my standards and the “golden rule” which, in almost all circumstances, would allow me to behave in a rational, fair, smart, and ethical manor while role modeling the behaviors that I hope my clients would adhere to.
  3. Be sure to always admit my mistakes and errors while asking for the community and the organization’s feedback on how they think I could do better, what I may need to learn, considerations I may need to make, understand others perspectives, and be committed to growth while being authentic in my attempts to understand their feedback, try new methods, and practice actions in which all would agree would be beneficial to my ability to carry out my duties.
I truly feel that, even if one’s choices are not the best, if a person is true to who they are, honest in their communications/actions with others, have good intentions, and are willing to grow, even if others within the organization/community do not agree in the individual’s actions or have differences in opinion/practices, with authentic behaviors and transparency, the trust of those individuals within the community/organization will be maintained. As long as those factors are maintained, clear communication/dialogue can occur that will allow all parties to understand and personal & professional growth can occur which will allow for even further advancement and success of the organization and its employees.
When it came to this week’s video file, in my heart, I do not 100% agree with Andrea Ingram when she stated that too much closeness and familiarity with clients can lead to blurred boundaries and ethical problems for an organization. (Producer, 2011). Yes, I do understand that clear boundaries in the sense that there should be some definite do’s and don’ts (black and white), such as no taking money/gifts, not breaching confidentiality, no romantic relationships, no actions that would make a client dependent upon you, and no playing favorites, etc. I must disagree when she said that “we, as human services professionals should not be their friend because they are there for a service.” (Producer, 2011).  Although I know the code of ethics and when I am employed with any human/social services agency I abide by rules, policies, and codes of ethics that have been established by these organizations (and sometimes the state or nation), I hope to find a way to follow my own path and have an organization that does not have so many internal rules, policies, and procedures and hire individuals that have positive character traits, live by their heart rather than other’s laws or rules, and show compassion, friendship, trust, and a helping hand to anyone who needs it, for as long as they need it, and create a lifelong relationship where growth, learning, mentorship, role-modeling, and being the change that one wants to see in the world is at the center of everything we do. An organization where we can show unconditional love, support, and “FRIENDSHIP” while teaching and supporting one another.
In the organization I envision, there would be no worry when it comes to public trust because the actions of the employees, although maybe not perfect, always good intended, self-sacrificing, and authentic. There would be no favoritism or behaviors that would deliberately pose harm to the clients by those within our organization because our team of professionals would do what comes natural for them because they want what’s best for others and live by the golden rule. Never would they have to alter their behaviors in any way for the client or for the purpose of impressing anyone or gaining public trust,   because they have enough self-knowledge and awareness to know that they do not have to act in a certain way because they were told that they “should” or “have to,” but rather they are acting in ways that they have sought within and found to be true and right, with love, kindness, forgiveness, understanding, and the driving force to share that internal wisdom with others for as long as those people need it.
Although I know and fully understand the need for organizational codes of ethics, policies and procedures, and to abide by certain rules, I do feel as though there is a better way. Those laws, policies, codes of ethics, and rules were made because people were hurting one another, serving purposes of their own, and acting through thoughts of the ego. If we can help others to learn to get past those aspects, which were created out of fear and mistrust, and to live a life of trust, hope, and love, we will gain, in my opinion, much further ground than one ever would by focusing on obeying laws, rules, and policies.
One specific example of a time when I, as a human services administrator would have broken the organization policy where I worked a few years ago was when I went to my director and asked him if I could take the ABUNDANCE (and I mean abundance) of leftover food from the cafeteria and give it to the homeless people under the bridge on my way to school. I knew that the food got dumped in the trash every evening so I figured that we could really help by feeding hungry families. The director blatantly stated “no” while providing me with the reason being that “if anyone gets sick or claims to get sick off of the food, it was a liability for the organization.” Although I totally understand that that very fact could happen and cause extreme liability for the organization, if I were a human services leader, I would throw that caution to the wind and take the wide array of food to those needy individuals on a daily basis. Yes, I would know that there could be severe consequences, but I could choose to live out of fear and allow those people to go hungry or I could choose to live from love and hope and feed the many men, women, and children who needed it. I would never want to put my actions/liability on an organization to which I serve or another individual; however, if there ever came a chance for me to be that leader of an organization, my choice would be an easy one!
You see it everywhere, people getting sue crazy and claiming lawsuits to get rich, others deceiving people for their own benefits/financial gain, fighting and conflict over who is wrong and who is right, policies in the workplace to protect the assets and liability of organizations, laws being made that we shouldn’t even need because people should know better in the first place, etc. All of these were made out of fear of what others could (and may even and many times do) but our lives should never be lived over what “may happen” because then we are already thinking that it will, which many times means it does, and gives a negative energy out to the world and everyone around us. What actions would lead more to a lack of public trust than an individual giving out negative energy while showing a lack of trust for their coworkers/team to choose to make the right decision or organization’s ability to trust the community!   In my opinion, creating these laws and policies do just that, they scream “we do not trust you to show kindness and good willed intent to the neighbor and treat others how you would like to be treated.”
Again, I am not saying that it is not important to have a code of ethics in place; however, if we can get individuals to a point where they can do what is right without it, that is what we all should thrive to achieve. Maybe one day, I can achieve my dream of having my own organization that will allow me to throw all other methods, rules, policies, and procedures to the wind and build an organization where personal accountability, utmost personal character, and dedication to learning and growth are at the forefront, I also realize that in order to do so I will probably have to move out of the country because those damn federal laws regulate everything would most likely prevent me in  creating the future that I envision.  One thing is for sure, I must stay true to the person I am, accept others for who they are, and provide a safe, supportive, loving, and nurturing environment for everyone to belong and never will I lose the hope and faith in humanity to choose to do the right thing.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Symbolic framework: Transparency and the public trust
            [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.