“Here’s to the Healers”: Reflections from Former Delray Beach Mayor
Former Mayor of Delray Beach, FL, Jeff Perlman, recently reflected on his experience attending the Spring 2018 Induction Ceremony for the FAU Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work in an article for YourDelrayBoca.com.
He titled the article “Here’s to the Healers”, and we invite you to read an excerpt below:
“… I was especially struck by the pictures of the graduates flashed across screens with their career intentions below their smiling faces.
They were going to devote their lives to child welfare, abuse, adoption, addiction, victim’s rights, mental health, education—social work. Is there anything more valuable than the healing of society?
And I found myself growing emotional as I saw their faces and listened to the speakers who are really the best that our society has to offer.
They care. They love. They are passionate, committed and dedicated to working with those who need help, nurturing and healing.
The specter of Parkland hung heavy in the room. It’s fresh. It’s local.
We live in a violent and volatile society, but while that level of mental illness is at the top end of what can and does go wrong all too often these days, it’s also the day to day issues that calls for an army of healers.
And I thought, who tends to the families of the two young Delray Beach men who were killed in separate scooter and dirt bike accidents in the past two weeks? Who is there to help the children left alone after a murder suicide recently in our community? The tragedies—some publicized, many hidden—are an everyday occurrence in every community in America.
And it’s not just tragedies, accidents, violence, crime, abuse, addiction etc., that afflicts us—it’s how we relate to each other as people. The vitriol on social media, cable TV, in Congress, across borders, religions, political persuasions and on and on that erodes our social fabric and compels us to wonder where the healers are.
And I thought, here they are.
Here are the people who will make a difference in our world. They won’t get rich doing so, at least in the conventional sense, but they will surely enrich our world.
As Dr. Michelle Hawkins, Vice Provost of FAU reminded the MSW graduates: we have to teach the world to be kinder. We don’t have to be mean spirited, we can be kind-spirited.