Saturday, October 8, 2011

Authority = Responsibility

Yes, I am doing homework on a Saturday night. Anyone surprised? My assignment for the weekend is really neat, and I'm really thankful to have the opportunity to complete the work. Patch has requested for all of the students to read letters that were sent to him for advice. Our task is to respond to the letters, as if we were in a position of authority (however we see that), and offer words of encouragement and suggestions to address their concerns.

Patch has, and always will, responded to every letter he has ever received. He hand writes all of his responses and takes the time to address each person individually. I am in awe of his love for his patients. I read an article laying around the house that said he is finally caught up with the bulk of letters-- he has been doing this for over 40 years now.

After I have responded to the set of letters for this week, I will receive another set of letters to respond to next week. This will be an ongoing assignment throughout the month, and at the end of the month, we will have the chance to read Patch's actual response to the same letters. I'm curious to see how they will compare-- we are free to respond however we want to, but we are not allowed to discuss the material with our peers. Patch is interested in what we have to say, individually.

Some of the information in the letters is very heavy-- depression, sexual abuse, insecurity, poor medical attention... and the list goes on. The letters provide a glimpse of the responsibility that comes along with authority. Patch is been admired by many people (myself included), and he continues to provide the same level of compassion for every person, years and years down the road.

Quite the reality check to see what people write to Patch. Interesting to think about what position I will find myself in the future--  I think many people are unaware of how influential they can be, and how incredibly powerful it can be to use that influence in a positive manner.

Love & Light,

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