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Chapter 5: Exploring New Horizons

“We cannot force others to see what they are unwilling to acknowledge. Thus, true liberation emerges through hard-earned understanding—a journey we must each embark on individually.”

Reflecting on this chapter of my journey, I affirm my understanding that liberation is not confined to our preconceived notions. I want to make it unequivocally clear that I do not intend to equate my personal experience at OHA with the profound oppression endured by our black and brown brothers and sisters throughout generations. The persistent existence of this phenomenon within our society continues to baffle me. How can individuals knowingly undermine personal sovereignty and reconcile it with their conscience?

Amidst these contemplations, I find myself anchored in a resolute conviction—an essential entitlement rooted in the belief that every individual is inherently equal. Throughout my formative years, the pledge of allegiance echoed in my ears, solemnly affirming "with liberty and justice for all." Consequently, I struggle to comprehend the anger that arises when my work demands the upholding of this principle.

Yet, I have come to understand that the critics who project their own deep-seated hatred onto me do so because self-reflection is too painful for them. Embracing this realization, I can release any resentment towards those at OHA who may lack the awareness or readiness to comprehend. We cannot force others to see what they are unwilling to acknowledge. Thus, true liberation emerges through hard-earned understanding—a journey we must each embark on individually. We cannot change people; instead, we can offer unwavering compassion, accepting their unique stage of development and granting them the freedom to make their own choices.

It is vital to emphasize that while acceptance holds significance in various contexts, it is not the principle I embrace within this particular situation. I will never endorse the existing system as it stands, for I have gained a clearer understanding of its workings. Their fear became a reflection, reminiscent of working with apprehensive children.

Today, I find myself less consumed by thoughts and strategies confined to the toxic environment of OHA. Instead, I acknowledge the multitude of pressing and intricate circumstances that contribute to the pervasive fear I previously described. The legislative body's ongoing strike raises concerns about the budget for this biennium, which may not emerge from committee until the next session. While the director's email painted a bleak picture, I do not perceive this as entirely negative. Behavioral Health, for instance, was ill-prepared to handle the previous budget, and they continue to grapple with the aftermath of challenges from the previous biennium. A pause for reflection, restoration, and recalibration may prove invaluable for their well-being.

A captivating conversation with my Dad this morning further illuminated my path. We delved into the concept of decentralization, envisioning the potential for new communal cities and restorative communities emerging nationwide. Intriguingly, my parents are currently embarking on their own extraordinary endeavor—they are constructing a self-sufficient home on a vast twenty-acre plot in Arizona. Their vision entails a dwelling completely disconnected from the grid, powered solely by solar energy and sustained by well water.

While my Dad proudly identifies as a libertarian, I have come to perceive him through a different lens. Unbeknownst to many, he has quietly championed the cause of climate action since the 1980s, even before it gained mainstream recognition. I deeply admire his unwavering commitment to sustainability, evident in his long-standing practice of recycling. In an era when recycling was not widely embraced, he diligently separated recyclables and ensured their proper disposal. His conscientiousness extends beyond recycling—his meticulous care for energy consumption reflects a profound respect for our planet. As a laser engineer, he possesses the remarkable ability to repair and breathe new life into items that others might discard. This philosophy of repair and reuse embodies a broader commitment to sustainable living.

Our conversation left me inspired, appreciating my Dad's forward-thinking mindset and actions. He exemplifies how individual choices, even seemingly small acts like recycling or repair, contribute to a larger movement of sustainability and resilience.

I feel grateful to have such an environmentally conscious role model in my life, and I eagerly anticipate the completion of their off-grid home—an embodiment of their values and a testament to the possibilities of a more sustainable future.

In light of our discussion, my Dad inquired about my future plans, emphasizing the importance of finding a job that ignites my passion and enthusiasm every day. I wholeheartedly agree with him. What, then, would make me genuinely excited to work each day?

First and foremost, I crave a job that provides constant opportunities for learning and personal growth. I yearn to be in an environment that nurtures my knowledge acquisition, skill development, and broadens my horizons. Equally vital is an atmosphere where I am respected and treated with dignity. I long for a workplace that fosters open communication, collaboration, and inclusivity—a place where every individual's contributions are recognized and valued.

Furthermore, I seek a position where my expertise is genuinely appreciated. While my deep care for the planet remains integral to my values, I acknowledge that I have yet to delve deeply into the realm of environmentalism. However, I have come to realize that many climate change organizations also prioritize social responsibility. It occurred to me that my background as a human resource professional, bridging the divide between traditional policy and employment law, could be of immense value in the context of evolutionary social system development.

By merging my knowledge of organizational dynamics and human resources with a focus on sustainability, I believe I can make a meaningful impact within climate change organizations. I envision myself working collaboratively with socially responsible organizations, contributing to their growth by implementing progressive human resource practices that align with their mission. This convergence of skills and interests creates a symbiotic relationship where I can grow professionally while contributing to a cause I deeply care about.

As I reflect on my conversation with my Dad, I am grateful for his profound insights. His words have reinforced my belief in the significance of finding a career that aligns with my values and enables me to make a positive difference in the world. With renewed determination, I am excited to explore opportunities that allow me to combine my expertise in human resources with the urgent need for transformative change in the face of climate change.

The role I am seeking aligns with the position of an "Inclusive Culture Facilitator," which explicitly emphasizes the goal of fostering inclusivity within organizations. This title signifies a dedicated focus on co-creating a culture where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel valued, respected, and included. It highlights the facilitation of initiatives, programs, and practices that form the bedrock of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a particular emphasis on cultivating an inclusive organizational culture. This role effectively communicates the significance of my strengths and expertise, while also underscoring my unwavering commitment to building an inclusive workplace environment.

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