Charley’s World Episode Thirty-Three

“So we agreed that we need to focus initially on self-esteem,” began Charley. “But how do we do that?

I think we know how to do that,” responded Pastor Sophia. “But the question we need to ask ourselves is how do we get people to be open to imagining their new self? I’m sure we all have had the experience of having someone come to us for help. And sometime during that conversation, there seems to be a new self emerging – one that is determined to no longer accept excuses that dominated their past life.

That was me,” Nellie added. “Charley helped me become my new self, and now I’ve been able to help others develop their new self. Thanks to Natty, I met Charley. Pastor, you are in a position where people come to you. How do we get people to become more open to a new self?

Let me say something,” interjected Homer. “Nellie, you’ve already answered your own question. You became your new self by helping others. You and Charley have already helped many others become their new self. I suspect that each of them have subsequently helped others. Think of each of those you have helped as ambassadors of self-esteem. It seems to me that what we need to do is to nudge each of those you help to become aware of how they can help others develop their new self. And if they can’t do that by themselves, they can refer their friends to the Learning Center.

I like your idea Homer, but neither Nellie nor I are counselors,” said Charley. “We can’t help with marital abuse or mental health or a wide range of other issues.

But you can be a great referral and a follow-up support,” said Sandra. “I remember a time in college when I girl I knew was facing some real anxiety issues. I was afraid she was going to harm herself. What I did was to ensure she got immediate mental health treatment. It turned out that she had a chemical imbalance that medication could treat. I then became the person who made sure that she took her medicine.

This has been very useful,” said Pastor Sophia. “Maybe we should think of our role as facilitators of hopefulness. Where do we begin?

I would like to propose the following,” said Charley. “Pastor Sophia, could you convene a meeting of your ministerial association here at the Learning Center so we can describe what we want to do? Nellie and I will start working with those we have helped to become a referral network for us. I would also like to capture the stories of those we have already helped to use as inspiration for others who come to us.

Everyone agreed that what Charley had suggested made sense and that they would reconvene in a month to see how the plan was working out.

Charley would look back on these two days as the most pivotal ones in his life. Little did he know at the time how much would change in just one month.

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“The nice thing about HOPE is that you can give it to someone else, someone who needs it even more than you do, and you will find that you have not given yours away at all.” – Maya Angelou