The Practice of Accompaniment

Public schools all over the country start up on Monday. Many of those schools because of the pandemic will be teaching their children virtually. I wish I could give the following to all the teachers and educators throughout our country. Our world’s future is in their hands especially for this coming year:

“Accompaniment is a Jesuit idea, meaning to “live and walk” alongside those you serve. It is the willingness to encounter another, to make someone feel valued and seen, bettered for knowing you, never belittled. Guiding another person, organization, or community to build confidence and capabilities requires tenacity, a disciplined resolve to show up repeatedly with no expectation of thanks in return. This kind of accompaniment requires the patience to listen to others’ stories without judgment, to offer skills and solutions without imposition. It is to be a follower as well as a guide, a humble yet aspirational teacher-student focused on coaching another with firm kindness and a steady presence. With those you aim to serve or lead, your job is to be interested, to help make another person shine, not demonstrate how smart or good or capable you yourself are.

Accompaniment is especially important when partnering with those who are from places or families that have been traumatized or marginalized by war, violence, isolation, aggression, or by drugs or generational poverty. Accompaniment recognizes that for many individuals and communities, spiritual poverty is as devastating as material poverty. The simple act of showing up and connecting with another’s humanity can help a person rekindle hope in ways they might not otherwise have dreamed of doing.”  — Jacqueline NovogratzManifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World. 

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

1 Comment +

  1. It is so but I fear when you come from always having too much, there is little REAL appreciation of those who have too little? IF our educators ‘get’ accompaniment there will be hope.
    My education philosphy was to get (3) reactions everyday from every class: scratching their heads (Mr. Liles, what do you mean by that?), laughter (was good at that) and some for of interaction/connection with those who were bored, never spoke up or were intent on disrupting class in any way they could. Successful days were both exhiliarating and exhausting. Good outcomes and experiences I have never forgotten.
    Thanks.

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