The following is an online interview conducted with an ex-employee of Hope Torch as a part of the Self-worth Postcard campaign.
Alan Potter worked with Hope Torch and helped many children discover their self-worth. He uses his own unique story of finding his own self-worth while he worked for Hope Torch or presently, as an Asst. Professor of Medical & Psychiatric Social Work and Coordinator of Social Excellence at Mar Gregorios College of Arts and Science, Chennai.
Self-Worth is the soul-worth of each and every being in this universe which is endless to measure.
Think Men in Black or Horton Hears a Who; each speck has value. For Alan, the circumstances surrounding his birth and his foster parents helped him discover his self-worth:
I had foster parents when I was a kid. Neither my foster parents nor I felt like we were two odd pieces of a puzzle fixed together. We embraced our choice to belong to each other. And I believe, that was when I started realizing and living my real worth. I understood this pretty young and I have held on to it till now.
When asked about how Alan felt when people boosted up his worth, he said he felt grateful to God for all those who do keep boosting his worth till date. In his own words
I do believe that life is an opportunity and a vocation, which needs [me] to listen to my YESs [opportunities to explore my potential]. Every second, God, People and Nature [declare their] voice [upon my] life [inspiring me] to [pursue] my YESs.
Alan was asked to talk about a time he helped or challenged someone to see the worth in themselves, to which his response was,
I first of all challenge as well as help myself to see my worth first strive to continue to renew the same every second of my life.
As a professor, he helps his students see the worth in themselves. He does so by providing and leading them into various opportunities through which they are able to test themselves to find their worth.
Alan was asked whether his Hope Torch experience has in anyway changed or shaped his understanding of self-worth to which he responds,
Hope Torch has shaped my self-worth by always [embracing that children start life] as the invaluable ONE rather than the valueless ZERO. [Hope Torch] has never promised to create self-worth in anyone but has always helped people discover their self-worth.
Knowing that Hope Torch is cognizant that this journey is constant and dynamic, Alan recognized that,
When one embarks on this adventure of discovering self-worth, the first step is the bravest leap, whether it is that pull from the inside or the push from the outside that one needs. And that is what Hope Torch does.
He urges us to remember,
The sense of belongingness to this Universe – to love and to be loved, to respect & to be respected and to give & receive the gift of dignity to everyone.