Sunday, May 16, 2010

Leaving Well

As I'm thinking about moving on, and back to my life in Haiti, I keep coming back to Dave Pollock's thoughts about leaving well. (I don't know if it is original with him but I heard him talk about it several times. You can find it, and more of his wisdom and the wisdom of Ruth Van Reken in their book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.)

Dave said that to leave well you needed to build a RAFT. The letters stand for:

R - Reconciling conflicts. Whatever unfinished business there is in the place you're leaving, deal with it before you go. Otherwise you'll keep dealing with it in your new place.
A - Affirming relationships. Take some time to appreciate the people you will be leaving behind. Let them know what they mean to you. Think about what you love about the place you are leaving.
F - Farewell. Say goodbye to people, places, pets, and possessions.
T - Think destination. Think about the place you're going. Gather information. Try to be as informed as you can.

One of the things that made leaving Haiti difficult (other than the earthquake, the trauma, the lack of sleep, the destruction, that is) was that we didn't get to leave well. We didn't have enough time to say goodbye or to wrap up anything. We just left. Now we have more time, and we want to leave well. So we're building our RAFT.

3 comments:

camilla said...

Thank you. As a third culture kid I was just talking to a friend about some of the things with which we seem to struggle. I couldn't remember Pollock's name. Thanks for the link.

K said...

I love the RAFT idea. Several people have mentioned "leaving well" lately- a few teachers are returning over Memorial Day to gather things and say goodbye, and Denny's family is hoping to come back for the same reason. Great post.

Tricia said...

Seems like that can apply to many situations - good to keep in mind.