“You cannot equate your purpose with goal-based achievements.”
Lindsey Carter (pictured), a graduate of Lyon College and executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Independence County, shared this message at the fourth annual Lyon College Peace Rally on Thursday, Sept. 19. The theme of this year’s event was kindness and how it can lead to peace.
Carter explained that CAC serves child abuse victims, bringing different agencies under one roof to make the investigation better and less traumatic for children. Since opening nine months ago, CAC has served about 185 children in Independence and surrounding counties.
As a forensic interviewer, Carter said her job is to listen to kids and be a safe person they can trust.
“There are times in my career when I’ve sat back and thought ‘Wow, this world is really ugly.’”
“I’ve learned that if I continue defining my success by measuring how much ugliness is in the world, then I’m going to fail all the time,” she said.
Carter advised attendees at the rally not to equate their purpose with their profession, encouraging them to consider the impact of everyday acts of kindness.
“Whatever you end up doing in your profession, I’m sure you will serve an amazing purpose, but that isn’t your sole purpose in being here,” she said.
“Being present for people who need you, listening to a child who needs to talk, or tying your elderly grandparent’s shoes…those are the things you do from your heart. I truly believe that’s when you make an impact on the world.”
Carter said kindness is “our saving grace” and how to provide unity and happiness.
“It’s taken me a while to understand that the services and procedures we do on a day-to-day basis at CAC make a difference, but what it really comes down to is responding with kindness, compassion, and love inside and outside of our daily work.”
Lyon’s chaplain, the Rev. Magaret Alsup, thanked everyone for attending the rally and continuing to support the commitment to work for peace and unity on Lyon’s campus and in the larger Batesville community.
“We promote peace in the world when we are kind to those we encounter,” Alsup said. “We all know kindness, and a kind word can change someone’s day.”
As a way to visually represent the commitment to peace, she invited everyone to paint a rock with images or words of affirmation for two community kindness rock gardens. One will be placed on Lyon’s campus, and the other will be placed on CAC’s campus.
“Take a rock when you’re in need of a word of hope or encouragement.”