A month or two ago, I was moved when, at a meeting of local “advocates,” I heard the following creed for the first time. It was written by Jeff Johnson, a friend of mine from The Refuge, and I’m grateful that he gave me permission to repost it here. He says he based it on the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer.
“The Advocate’s Creed”
By Jeff Johnson
I am an advocate, I speak for those who have lost their voice. I comfort those without hope. As an advocate, I know I am a member of a centuries-old tradition of paracletoi, of those who were “called to come alongside” to comfort, support, and intercede for others. I am proud of the honored souls who have preceeded me, and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon all who advocate, both present and past, regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my authority or social position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety, from those I serve.
Compassion is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind — providing for those in need, and speaking for change in the world around me. I will strive to remain physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy so I can continue the fight now and in the times to come. I am aware of my role as an advocate; I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All people are entitled to have a voice in their own lives; I will encourage every person to find their own voice, and will be that voice until they do.
May I and all those who aspire to advocate for their neighbors live up to this creed.