Entering Youthwork Through Love's Many Pathways: A Poetic Rendition
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Entering Youth work Through Love's Many Pathways is a text that wanders and digresses to places where, through poetic inquiry and a Spinozist and Sufi framework, the concepts of immanence, love and becoming can be explored. This thesis is framed as a walk through which the researcher / youth worker along with the reader, traverses through five pathways that she considers necessary in cultivating a meaningful relationship with the youth: opening, strength, listening, trust and unconditional compassion. By means of engaging the “self”, this thesis approaches youth work as a field that is relational and socially interconnected. In this sense, this poetic inquiry seeks to rupture predictable patterns of behaviour. One of the ways I do this is through found poetry. Through this specific form of poetic inquiry, I bring together various voices, an assemblage – Rumi, Rilke, Whitman, Lalla, Mirabai and Song of Songs – in order to find my voice and by extension, to help the youth find their voice through a human connection that goes beyond colour, race, gender etc. In other words, my aim is to actualize the experiences of becoming youth worker while being in a field of immanence where similarities are understood and differences respected. My hope is that this project may offer an example of understanding, celebration, and engagement of our mutual differences, while still being able to relate to one another through the many pathways of love.