The Best Thing

Being in social work school can be draining. Grad school alone is a challenge, but the depth of social work can cause you to feel particularly overwhelmed. This semester has felt especially heavy as I plunge into issues of intimate partner violence, childhood sexual assault, and a myriad of other injustices and heartbreaking experiences, both in the classroom and with my therapy clients at my field placement.

In the midst of my occasional emotional paralysis, I am led back to a question a friend asked me many years ago: What’s the best thing?

Since being asked myself, I have asked countless friends, family members, and acquaintances, writing down each answer as I go. When I feel down or pessimistic, I refer to this precious list, remembering the best things in life, both big and small. “Hearing your favorite song on the radio.” “Sleepovers that turn into all-day hangouts.” “Seeing the moon during the daytime.” “Riding horses.” “Being honest and having someone really hear you.” “When my daughter was born.” “Being in a warm bed in a cold house.” “The last sentence of a really good book.”

And so, I open the question up to you. What is the best thing? Comment here. E-mail me (tarajc@live.unc.edu). Ask a friend. Start your own list. Regardless of what you do with the question, let’s aim to remember this perspective that is always available to us.

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