Belief vs Knowledge

Or emotion vs intellect?

One of the things that I’m doing at the moment is training to be a volunteer Family Support Worker. Sounds fancy right? The basic premise of the role is to provide empathetic listening and (where appropriate) guidance for a family in need of support.

As part of today’s training session, we were asked to examine our values and beliefs about scenarios that may or may not crop up when we finally finish training and get the chance to terrify.. I mean help.. our first families.

As support workers, a key element of our role is to recognise that there is no ‘right’ way to parent. As a parent, I disagree. Clearly, my way is the right way. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it my way, I’d do it differently. That seems obvious. Which is probably why it’s not true.

Just because something worked for me, doesn’t mean that it would work for anyone else. Not only that, there’s literally no way of knowing whether, had I done things differently, things would have turned out better or worse. It’s my opinion that everybody does the best that they can with the knowledge they have.

But what if you believe that you have knowledge that could change, improve, or generally assist someone else? Do you have the right to share that knowledge? Certain professions use this as a foundation for their work. If a doctor knows that a certain lifestyle is healthiest, it is part of their duty of care to share that knowledge. On the other hand, just because they impart their wisdom upon unsuspecting chocoholics, that doesn’t always mean that the recipient of said sagacity will heed it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, sometimes we think we know better. Sometimes we might be right. That said, I’m not convinced that forcing our own ‘better way’ on people could be considered helping in any real sense of the word.

Realistically, it’s hard to reconcile the things that you believe with an acceptance that others hold contradictory beliefs with equal fervour. As much as you have the right to feel the way that you do, they have that same right; understanding this does not make it any easier.

No matter what the doctors say, I still love chocolate ❤

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