What if mentoring doesn’t work?

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The greatest gift you have to give to another is your time.

I believe that. That feels right. But what if it isn’t? What if you volunteered as a mentor and in the long run it was harmful to your mentee?

For years I volunteered as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). My little was 10, now he’s 19. (I think! He’ll probably read this and correct me. He’s like that.) The BBBS model of recruiting Bigs and selectively matching them with Littles and offering them match support is proven.

(From the Washington Post)

The prototype for all this – and the model from which [Wellesely College economist Philip] Levine suggests building –…

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“Don’t forget to explore!” A lesson in creating from my daughter

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On Monday, Harper and I explored the woods. We found puff balls, a beer bottle, a rabbit, and a squawking heron. We climbed a deer stand and tried to patch a beaver dam.

When we walked from the woods into the clearing next to the pond, we saw what appeared to be snow flowers. It was as if tall weeds that had managed to stay upright through the winter bloomed petals of snow.

Harper wanted to show “everyone,” so we recorded a short episode of Harper & Daddy TV, our hit YouTube show. (I mean, like, one of our video has 100 views.)

While we were filming, we realized that the snow flowers had formed atop nearly invisible spider…

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Make the Living Room Great Again: A Fable

House fire by Ada Bee

(photo credit: Ada Bee)

The King of the Living Room surveyed his kingdom. He didn’t like what he saw. He hated his kingdom.

“This living room isn’t what it used to be,” the King of the Living Room said. “So sad.”

“When I was a child, the living room was much bigger. I used to be able to jump off the couch. I peed in the corner and now the whole damn room smells like urine.”

“So here’s what we are going to do. From here on out it’s the Living room first! Not the kitchen, not the bathroom, not the bedroom. Living room first! This living room is a disaster and I’m the only…

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Healthcare costs & system could leave kids like my son behind

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Our son Griffin receives over $100K of therapies each year for autism.

“Are you here to get insurance to cover ABA?” (ABA is autism therapy.)

“Uh, no.” I said. “We’re here because we feel like Griffin should have a developmental pediatrician.”

This is how much insurance is in the discussion these days in the autism community, heck, in America. It was the topic of our first discussion at our first meeting with a new pediatrician.

I’m not criticizing him at all. The last note he had in our file from another doctor at his office was such a request from three years ago. Then Griffin was too young to get a diagnosis that would be acceptable for the insurance company.

This was pre-Affordable Care…

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Bring me & other Indiana authors to your K-12 school courtesy of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation

KT w HS students

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Do you drive an El Camino?”

Students say the darnedest things. These were just a few of the questions I was asked when I visited the Friends School in Richmond, Indiana, two week ago. I talked for about 20 minutes, answered questions for about 20 minutes and then visited an English class,

(For the record, I don’t drive an El Camino. But why don’t they bring it back? It has all the strengths of a truck and a car. It’s like the Blade of automobiles.)

Last week I had the opportunity to speak in an auditorium in Greenville, Ohio, where I went as a student to watch others share stories from its stage. Whether presenting to grade schoolers,…

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Is the Pope wrong about beggars?

Pope Francis

This week Pope Francis offered what to do when we pass beggars on the street: We should give to them without a thought. We should look them in the eye and maybe shake their hand. To give without engaging is robbing them of their human dignity.

The Catholic News Service reported on the Pope’s comments:

People who don’t give money to the homeless because they think it will be spent on alcohol and not food should ask themselves what guilty pleasures they are secretly spending money on, Pope Francis said.

“There are many excuses” to justify why one doesn’t lend a hand when asked by a person begging on the street, he said in an interview published the day before the beginning of Lent.

But giving something to someone in need “is always right,” and it should be done with respect and compassion because “tossing money and not looking in (their) eyes is not a Christian” way of behaving, he said.

Is he right?

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