It’s interesting to me how inspiration can strike from the most unlikely sources. I find it particularly intriguing when this inspiration stems from making connections between two seemingly dissimilar ideas.
For example, take actress/writer Mindy Kaling and advocacy. No, I’m not kidding, just hear me out…
Over the weekend I read Mindy Kaling’s book Why Not Me? (and by “read,” I mean I listened to her book. I listen to most of my book these days. I listen while working out, while driving, while folding laundry, while driving…but I digress…)
So I was listening to Mindy Kaling’s book of essays, and came across a section in which she was highlighting the differences between people’s perceptions of what it means to be an actor, and the reality of what it means to be an actor. Which reminded me of the perpetual challenge we music therapists face of bridging the perception of what it means to be a music therapist (Isn’t our job FUN? We get to entertain people all the time!) and what is actually means to be a music therapist.
The good news? We are not alone in this challenge.
I would imagine, in fact, that this is a challenge for many professionals. I mean, an occupational therapist doesn’t work on helping one at a job, being a flight attendant means so much more than simply offering complimentary beverages, and what about being a stay-at-home parent? It’s certainly not about day-long relaxing fun with toddlers…
The need to consistently explain who we are and what we do will not go away any time soon. It’s a question we address on an almost daily basis, and it’s a topic that gets confused in the media. It’s a clarification we need to make on an individual level as well as on an organizational level.
Though this idea doesn’t exactly fit with this month’s social media advocacy month theme, it does fit with the general concept of advocacy. Advocacy requires patience, education, and the occasional reminder to look outside ourselves and our profession and note that we are not alone.