Nate Babcock (@coachnateb) posted this on Twitter. It spoke to me. I enjoy reflecting and this is definitely something I have never saw before nor thought deeply about.
When I look at level one I think of my most basic needs which would be food, air, water, sex, safety. Sometimes I make decisions based solely on those.
Level two reminds me of the I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. I am not above this at all. This makes me think of how I interact at school. I will help the custodians, my principal, other teachers, the PTA because I know at some point in time I am going to ask them to help me. This is not the sole reason but if I am being honest it is definitely in the forefront of my mind. If I help them out I expect their help and support in the future. That isn’t the selfless let me help you because you need it; is the let me help you because I know one hand washes the other. There is nothing wrong with that because I believe that is human nature but it is not the selfless love that we will talk about later.
Level three doesn’t exist so I won’t waste my time on it.
Level four is where I would like to spend some time reflecting. My current journey in the constant effort of bettering myself makes me feel that I am working toward level four. I want to better myself so I can serve others. This is why I am learning so much about intersectionality. There are so many people being harmed that I don’t want to add to it. Instead, I would like to be a force that can help stop the pain that is being caused.
Writing that sounds very similar to being a white savior. My aim is not to “save”people. My aim is to understand how people are being harmed in my school and make sure that I am not harming them as well. Not only do I not want to harm them I want to provide a space where if they are being harmed they can heal or escape from that harm while in my safe area.
In order to accomplish that goal I need to learn and understand the system that I am a part of and how it is harming students. I also need to use my privilege and status as a leader to address this harm when I get a chance. I am not “the answer” in my school. I am simply one part of a solution that takes all of us working together to achieve.
I attempt to keep myself healthy by playing basketball and eating as healthy as I can. I am currently in the process of learning about adult executive functioning and how I can improve mine. This is an area that I have always been weak in and I will start addressing it soon. This will improve my health and ability to serve others.
I am not living at Level Four. I would guess that most people are a variety of levels. My goal in life is to keep level four in the forefront of my mind when making decisions. Is this benefiting me or others? What am I going to gain from making these decisions? Is it the accolades, the pat on the back, the likes or retweets or is it about me being able to help others.
My challenge to myself is how can we continue to grow our love for ourselves in order to better others. What books or podcasts can we learn from? How can we change our eating habits or exercise routines? How can we expand our social networks to make a larger impact? Most importantly how can I love and serve others simply because it is something I value?