Detective Bob Shilling: A Story of Tragedy and Character

This week, I read a local news story about Detective Bob Shilling.  After a long and remarkable career with the Seattle Police Department, he was recently invited by Interpol, the most prestigious crime fighting organization in the world, to lead their Crimes Against Children Group.  Now he is preparing to move to France after Thanksgiving to begin this new chapter in his life.

The interesting part of this story is that when Detective Shilling first began his career in the police department, he declared that he didn’t want to work sex crimes.  While he never told anyone, his adamant opposition to working child abuse cases was because he had been sexually abused by his grandfather as a young child.  His own mother witnessed the abuse happening and turned and walked out of the room, leaving him defenseless and alone as a young child.

The abuse of children is one of the most heinous crimes any of us can imagine.  A child subjected to sexual or physical abuse is clearly a powerless victim at the mercy of a predator.  Yet, for Detective Shilling the story does not end with the abuse.  Contrary to his stated wishes, his career did ultimately focus on bringing abusers to justice and making certain that victims knew the abuse was not their fault.  Today he is preparing to advocate for child victims internationally.

Reading about Detective Shilling  made me reflect on the nature of personal tragedy.  I was reminded of the many heroes, who have risen above trying circumstances, and then courageously face their fears to help others recover from similar hardships.  The stories of people living with disabilities, losing a job and becoming homeless, losing a child to drunk driving, losing a breast to cancer, victims of rape or incest, and even survivors of crimes against humanity, often become stories of transformation.  The survivors channel their pain and heartache into the very vehicle for serving others.

Although no rational being wants to experience tragedy or loss, being human means we will endure pain during our lifetime.  However, as Detective Shiller discovered, within the suffering lies the key to healing.  In the midst of our grief we are called to marshal personal strength and survive; and, as we move through the experience, the opportunity exists to discover a compelling compassion (or passion) for others along the way.  In a way, this is part of our social evolution as a culture.  As each person surviving a loss or hardship finds the wisdom and grace contained within the experience, we are able to help others to heal, too.  Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”  It appears, for Detective Shilling, success will mean greater responsibility and helping even more children than before.

Byron, Linda, October 24, 2012, http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-Detective-Bob-Shilling-Interpol-fight-global-sex-predators-175710391.html#

An Inspirational Snack

I loved the images in this post.  The story of this blogger is interesting and inspiring.  It is about being a man, facing and embracing vulnerability, willing to look at one’s self, growing and changing.  His year-long journey is interesting to read.  Enjoy.

An Inspirational Snack.

So how goes the job search?

Its been a while since I last posted about looking for work and conducting informational interviews.  I’ll bet you are wondering…so how goes that job search?  Well, its had its ups and downs.  Meeting someone who inspires me during an informational interview is definitely an UP experience.  Being invited to interview for a position is positive, too.  Waiting to find out if I got the job—hmmm, not so much.  Through it all, I’ve experienced fear, self-doubt, excitement, exhilaration, and disappointment—and not necessarily in that order.  One thing about being unemployed is that it gives one ample time to reflect.

This week, I received the nicest “no thank you email” from a prospective employer.  In addition to letting me know that I just wasn’t quite right for the position, they also said they found my qualifications “impressive” and would like to keep my resume on file.  Knowing, that the position was not my heart’s desire, I thought, what a relief they didn’t want me.  So I mentally said thank you for the lovely complement and by all means keep my resume on file.

In my moments of spiritual optimism, I believe that my future workplace and I are destined to meet each other.  Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay, The Over-Soul, says, “The things that are really for thee gravitate to thee.  You are running to seek your friend.  Let your feet run, but your mind need not.  …For there is a power, which, as it is in you, is in him also, and could therefore very well bring you together, if it were for the best.”  Truly, that’s what I wish for, that my next work situation is the best for them and for me.

I’ve heard people describe how they felt a gravitational pull toward another person who then became their best friend or lover.  I’ve certainly experienced meeting new friends and knowing somehow they were meant to be a part of my life.  In that case, finding my new job is just a grown-up version of hide and seek.  The days   I am enjoying this adventure instead of being afraid, I can see each moment as an opportunity that is taking me closer to the organization that says “Wow, your qualifications are really impressive and we would love to have you come and work with us.”  Ready or not, here I come.

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