No good deed

No good deed goes unpunished. Clare Booth Luce

You never fail until you stop trying. Albert Einstein

These words are not only the bookends of my experience as a CASA volunteer this week, but also what has kept me going.

You’ve all heard the system is broken. In more ways than I can list.

Most importantly, so are the children, and the moms and dads. Broken by their own losses and unable or unwilling to climb out of a system ill-equipped to handle the burden.

For the CASA volunteer, it’s an adversarial world, a constant uphill battle to advocate for the best interest of the innocent children, to speak up for the ones who have the most at stake.

The system, for better or worse, is designed to protect children by following a cookie-cutter set of codes. So when advocates seek something more for the children in their cases, there are wins and there are setbacks, and both rarely happen without some kind of conflict. Yes, it seems, no good deed goes unpunished.

Confrontation is not my favorite thing. I suppose it would be easier to disengage oneself from all the tension, from all this brokenness, and quit trying. But then I’d have to find a way to simply stop caring.

I’m no Einstein but I think that would be the worst failure of all. Not for me. But for the children and for our future.

(Along with never giving up, completing this blog post and getting back to posting regularly is one of my 2014 resolutions. Losing weight is always on the list, of course. What’s new on your list in this New Year?







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4 responses to “No good deed

  1. Esther Foster

    Shari, the system is broken and most people are completely oblivious to what really goes on in family court regarding issues that affect children. Thanks for caring enough not to give up.

  2. Thank you Esther. Fortunately, the children make it all worthwhile. And I have a very smart and supportive CASA supervisor.

  3. I’m glad to learn more about the work you’re doing with CASA. And I’m also thrilled to hear you’ll be blogging more frequently too. I always look forward to your posts, Shari. 🙂

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