For the last ten months, I’ve been working at NRS in…

or...tell them about 1-800-RUNAWAY!

photo by Brent Moore via flickr

For the last ten months, I’ve been working at NRS in various capacities – writing this blog, for one. I’ve produced videos, written for the newsletter, updated our database of resources, collaborated to create new promotional materials, and, above all, I’ve had the opportunity to provide support to callers on the hotline.

What I will walk away with, even more so than before, is the understanding that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. Working as a liner in the call center at NRS was an entirely new experience for me. I realized the main qualification for being a liner – volunteer or staff – was a simple willingness to listen. Liners at NRS are here to help their callers do what the callers want to do, leaving their own beliefs and judgments behind.

As a liner, I took lessons in being honest and learned from the genuine, straight-talking youth to whom I provided resources, probably taking as much – and often more – from their insight into their circumstances as I gave to them by the end of any call. As long as we remain open, the opportunities to learn and to discover new options are always greater than if we choose to only hear without actually listening.

I’m no expert, so I only encourage you to think about what that might mean to you, if anything. Everyone has distinct, unique life experiences and it’s often with honesty and through a respect for what we don’t understand that we discover we have a lot to offer each other.

– Colin


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