Social Work-Aging and Systems
SocialWork-Aging and Systems
Reminiscenceis a useful tool used by a person seeking knowledge from individuals,by asking them questions regarding their life to make them feelappreciated. The exercise can be very useful especially in a workenvironment or a learning institution. During the reminiscenceprocess, the individual involved recalls the past experiences andconnects it with the present events (Hedgeand Borman, 2012). Reminiscenceis a form of therapy used for individuals of all ages to solve longtime and short time problems. The macro theory is used in thisinterview as it helps to come up with a report which is broad andcomprehensive. The interviewee for this paper is Akiva a Jewishgentleman, who is 74 years of age. He is a counselor by professionand an authenticated clinical social worker (Robinson,Dauenhauer, Bishop and Baxter, 2012).
SinceAkiva is an old man of 74 years, ideally should be retired obviouslysomewhere enjoying his retirement benefits with his wife. But this isnot the case for Akiva. Akiva works for a living. He is a counselorout of passion. He loves his job he enjoys touching souls this iswhat gives him his drive to live more. He enjoys what he does. He isa survivor of addiction. He was able to overcome it his addictionafter 30 years of struggling. He was lucky to survive from theaddiction, but unfortunately, he is suffering from different types ofcancer. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy, and he has beenresponding very well to it but has a positive outlook and prognosis. Even though because of his age he is vulnerable to diseases his willand passion for what he does keeps him going. Despite being adivorcee, Akiva is in the relationship with his longtime girlfriendwho has adult kids also. He gets his sense of worth from being asocial worker because he feels like he is giving back to society(Hepworth et al, 2016)
TheDaily life of Akiva, and his Developmental Strengths and Challenges
Atypical day for Akiva starts at 6 am every morning. He has a hugegarden next to a human-made lake in the backyard of his house. Hesits on his bedroom balcony which faces his garden for roughly 20minutes. He calls that meditation time. During that time he spendsthe time to pray and basically to think about his life. For a longtime, during the first few months after he overcame his addiction, itwas a time he spends to cry and lament over his wasted years. Hewould weep and cry so much thinking of where he would have been if atall he was in control of his life. According to counseling phycology,crying is healthy it releases the pain it is also a phase of healing.In a span of 6 months, he was able to heal and spent the meditationtime celebrating his achievements. He says that these days he enjoysmedications because the pain left and all that he has are thememories of his achievements. After meditation, he does exercise, notso much though because of his health. But he says he exercises asoften as he can. He bonds with his wife every day over breakfast.Usually, he has heavy breakfast every day, and his girlfriendprepares it for him religiously every day (Taylor,Walton and Young, 2013). He says that he deeply regrets that he parted with his wife and hetakes all the responsibility for the divorce. His careless drunkenlife pushed his wife and kids away from him. He learnt his lesson,though he knows the value a family adds to someone. He says thattoday his strength lies in his family. Even if the wife left, and hiskids grew and had families of their own, he knows that all is notlost because he learnt his lesson and that is why he treasures hisgirlfriend. After finishing his breakfast at around ten o clock, heheads to his office which is in the middle of his garden, and if hehas a client for that day, he spends the whole day there. If there isno client for that day, he enjoys visiting rehabilitation centers.Guys in the centers like him. He frequents a rehabilitation centerdown the street, and his presence alone means so much to thosepeople. His greatest fulfillment is the smile in the face of theindividuals in the rehabilitation. After the day’s work, Akivastrolls around his garden with his girlfriend before dinner thenlater on after dinner he takes time again around the fireplacesometimes with his girlfriend or other times alone,just relaxingand listening to soft rock music. He calls it a day and goes to bedat 11 o clock every day. Akiva values him me time when he spends histime alone meditating. Because of his meditation, he can take controlof his life. He can look at his life activities and know how to makeit better (Archer,2013).
WhyIdentity is Meaningful
Aperson’s identity evolves over time. According to Akiva, hisidentity is determined by what you think you are. It is your identitythat defines you and brands you to become who you are today. Akivatestifies that his life is a living proves of this. Back in hisdrunken days, he had no meaning for life. He did not know who he isor where he is going. He had never made definite life choices toguide him. All his life started and ended with alcohol. Every coin heearned was for the bottle. And for 30 years of his life, he lived alife without a meaning. He lived a life that was not worth living. Helost his good young days because of alcohol. He lost his wife andfamily because of living a life without meaning. But a little childhe calls grandson who was then three years changed his life. Hisgrandson once witnessed him wasted with alcohol and the little boycries his eyes out. He felt touched, and he felt for a matter of factthat even if he had nothing to live for he could change for hisgrandson. The little boy gave him the meaning of life and help himrelocate his identity. He promised himself that he would result todoing something meaningful with his life. And when he started seeinghimself as a person who could help other people struggling withalcoholism to find the meaning of life, that where he got hisidentity. He identified himself as a savior to the alcoholics, andthat changed his perspective on life (Duboisand Miley, 2013).
Normativepatterns are the various stages of development which are expected atdifferent ages in development which matches the age of the person. Asfar as normative patterns are concerned, Akiva went completelycontrary because the kind of work he is currently doing at is age iswhat he could have been doing at the days of his youth when he hadthe energy. He wasted all his years when he had energy. And he iscurrently training right now, and he has no energy. Society expectspeople to do more when you when we are young so that we spend most ofour time when we are old resting. The society does not also expect adivorce to be in a relationship anymore after that. But on thecentrally at the age of 74 years, Akiva is madly in love with hisgirlfriend, and they are enjoying life (Vanand Besthorn, 2011).
Examininghow changes in history, policy and social institution affected thelife of the interviewee using Macro systems lens
Themacro theoretical lens helps us to analyze the life of Akiva in thesocial perspective. Akiva got married in his mid-twenties, and he didnot have any idea of what marriage is or what it is not. He is notsure of his exact date and year of birth, but he is sure it wassomewhere in the middle of the World War II. At that time the man hadlots of responsibilities and expectations from the society. He gotmarried a daughter to his father’s friend. At that time in Jewishculture, that is how marriages were done. It was not because of loveit was because of convenience. They had four children together, twoboys and two girls. Akiva had been a victim of affairs at differentpoints of his life, and he found himself being attracted too much toyounger girls. This did not go too well with his wife, and they wouldfight every day. They were bound to stick together despite all thisbecause society demands so. During the World War II fights, the menwere required to go to fight back the enemies, and the women wereleft behind with the children. For a long time, Akiva stayed awayfrom home and relocated towards the south where the battalions of thewar were based (Cook, Cheshire, Rice and Nakagawa, 2013). After sixyears of being in the war, he came back home to find that his wifehad remarried to another man. And so he sank into depression andstarted drinking. To him and according to how society was at thattime, the life of a man is pegged on a family, and without a family aman is incomplete. According to the Macro theory, it analyses lifein the perspective of how the society viewed things. Therefore,clearly, his decision to resort to drinking was because he could notlive a life that is worthwhile anymore because his wife had left andhis kids were no longer with him. Drinking was the immediateconsolation to the problem he had. He indulged it not knowing that hewould be a slave of the bottle. It took 30 years to save him slaveout of that addiction. The strength of this theory is that it showsus where things went wrong in the broader picture affecting theindividual involved. First, being a man, he was under pressure to goto war as a man, and he had no option of not going because all menwere obligated to go into war. During his time in the war, came theindustrialization period where women were forced to go and work also.His wife worked in a factory. And she fell in love with a Mexican inthe industries and forgot about her husband. It was a result of thepolitical instability that the men were forced to go to war either tofight or to help in making of weapons. If the political systemsremained as before and the country was more stable probably all thehappenings could not have taken place(Ashford and LeCroy, 2012). Thetheory perfectly packages and gives us the reason as to why theeventualities of Akiva came up because he was clearly a victim ofcircumstance. The disadvantage about the theory is that it gave usthe impact society had on him not remembering every person has aresponsibility to control their life. However much things happen in amanner that we had not planned, we cannot blame it all on thepolitical institutions and the social institutions. The major reasonas to why the life of Akiva broke down according to the macro theoryis because his social institution fell apart and the politicalinstitution had a hand in that. The theory, however, does not giveroom to inform us of the contributions of the individual towards thewhole issue (Landa,2013). Andthat’s the greatest limitation of using the theory. However, on theother side, the theory is an eye opener. It helps in assisting us tounderstand how the person has been impacted by the larger system of achange in history, policy and social institution without leaving anystone unturned. Clearly, the greatest thing that affected Akiva ishis dysfunctional social institution, his immediate family. Hesuffered separation from his children. Since he felt as if his lifecannot go on, he felt the urge to engage in actions that coulddistract him for him to focus. This destruction lasted forever, andall his life got wasted away (Archer, 2013).
Theresults of this reminiscence gave a lot of information in a mannerwhich it made it possible to know exactly where things went wrong.The macro theory was the best for this interview because it broughtout a vast perspective that helps in scrutinizing the issue. Byusing the theory, we get comprehensive knowledge from theinterviewee. The bottom line of the story is that the society needsand expectations have a lot of impact towards the deliberated actionof a person such that, one cannot do what’s best for themselves atthat time because society has an opinion we have to consider anytime.But then again, despite from the societal expectations, Akiva wentagainst the normative patterns at some point by having a girlfriendat an ancient age, and he was able to recap his life yet againbecause his greatest source of motivation is the social institutionthe family unit. That fact is clearly evident in the results of theinterview, and it is thanks to the use of macro theory.
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