Embracing a Culture of Gentleness at COR: A Support Person’s Journey

As I reflect on my journey with COR, I am filled with gratitude for the invaluable training and knowledge I have gained. When I initially sought employment, my primary goal was to find a person-centered environment where I could closely engage with individuals. Looking back, I am genuinely delighted that I chose this path over other potential agencies. The nature of social work can be demanding, often requiring adherence to strict policies that may not always prioritize the well-being of the individuals being served. At COR, however, I consistently feel that I am making a positive impact, and I attribute this to the transformative gentle teaching training I have received.

One of the key aspects that sets COR apart is the belief in equality between support persons and the individuals they serve. I cherish the terminology used, such as “support person” or even better, a “friend.” This perspective shapes my approach as I delve into the lives of those I support, learning about their fears, dreams, hobbies, family, and past experiences. To cultivate a culture of gentleness, I reciprocate by offering glimpses into my own life, treating them as equals. Inviting them for lunch, introducing them to my family, and sharing aspects of my own story create an environment where people feel safe to open up.

Crucially, I practice non-judgmental communication. When individuals share personal aspects of their lives or confide in me, I am mindful of my facial expressions, body language, and tone in response. This commitment to empathy fosters open conversations, paving the way for them to feel secure in confiding without fear of judgment. COR has instilled in me the awareness of the profound impact that simple tools like hands, eyes, and tone can have on establishing a sense of safety and trust.

In my perspective, a culture of gentleness boils down to recognizing what we all hold dear in our lives. Despite our individuality, we share a fundamental desire: to feel safe, to love, and to be loved. Having experienced the privilege of safety in my own life, I empathize with the challenges some individuals at COR have faced and the transformative power of meeting basic needs.

Witnessing the joy that comes from being able to give and express love reinforces the significance of a culture of gentleness. When those I support teach me something, prepare a meal, or offer a simple gesture like buying coffee, it goes beyond a transaction; it signifies friendship and mutual care. Proudly, I declare my membership in COR, cherishing the profound relationships and friendships I have nurtured along the way.


COR Support