It’s easy to dismiss a person if you don’t know their story. I’ve done it before.
As much as I have been engaged in and with communities for the last two decades, it wasn’t until I was involved with Circles of Delaware County through TEAMWork for Quality Living that I realized how much I had judged people in the past based on their life circumstances. Not knowing an individual story of someone living in poverty, it was easy for me to lump people together and assume they all had made bad life decisions, were lazy, or didn’t care to improve their lives.
Over the past four years of being involved as a poverty ally, my own story has changed. I no longer judge a book by its cover. I want to know the contents, the ups and downs, the plot shifts, the characterizations that make up each individual. Circles has taught me that each person’s story is different, and each journey began on a different path.
The launch of The Facing Project can be credited, in many ways, to Circles of Delaware County. They were the first to allow us to pilot The Facing Project model which led to Facing Poverty in Delaware County and subsequently into what is now a national movement in over 20 communities across the country. Though The Facing Project has tackled issues beyond poverty, other Circles communities have come on board and led their own Facing Projects on poverty.
At first read, it’s easy to draw judgments for decisions the storyteller has made, but once we get deeper into her story we realize the pain and hurt she’s had inside since childhood.
Raped at age 10. A mother by age 14.
Just a child, thrown into life circumstances that weren’t her choice.
But through the help of others who had been down a similar path, she was able to write new chapters for her life. A new story that offers hope.
Read the Featured Story of the Week, Finding Home.