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3. Because Things Go Wrong: Philanthropy as a Response to the Human Problematic

Robert L. Payton Indiana University Press ePub

Philanthropy appears in some form in all cultures and civilizations and through all recorded history. It seems there is something about the world, and about humans in this world, that calls philanthropy into being. Philanthropy is a response. But to what? What is it about the world that causes us to respond philanthropically, that makes philanthropy seem to be a reasonable response?

The purpose of this chapter is to begin to establish the larger context for philanthropy, the general condition of the world—what we will call the human problematic—to which philanthropy is a response. We follow the previous chapter’s summary of our broad conception of philanthropy with an exploration of how that conception fits into the larger world and how it relates to some fundamental questions about humans. We believe understanding these issues is essential to understanding why philanthropy exists—why it emerges as a human response to the human condition in the world.

While we will be making some bold claims about elementary features of the human condition and human nature, this chapter is not so much an exercise in presenting universal knowledge as an exercise in conceptual generalization and practical philosophy. Like much of this book, it considers fundamental characteristics and causes of voluntary action for the public good in human societies, but tries not to lose sight of the fact that this philanthropic action is always expressed in ways that are patterned by culture and history. Philanthropy is found everywhere as a response to inevitabilities of the human condition, yes, but what is defined as an appropriate or conventional philanthropic response is different in Elizabethan England than in Maoist China.

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Medium 9780819848567

2. Family: The Basic Unit of Care

Kathy Kalina Pauline Books and Media ePub

Two

Family: The Basic Unit of Care

THERE ARE NOT MANY HARD and fast rules in this work, but I have identified a few from my own experiences in dealing with families. You certainly don’t have to follow them, but I would like to share them with you.

Of course, patients are our top priority, but everything that happens to them takes place in the context of their family—even if they’re alone.

Wounds and Battle Scars

Most patients and their families are battle-scarred by the time their journey leads them to hospice. Most cancer patients have endured some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Regardless of diagnosis, patients and family members alike have probably had their hopes dashed time and time again. They’ve had little control over their fate, and they’ve had their fill of hospitals and medical professionals. They are wounded, battered, and very tired.

As their hospice midwife, you are entering their lives at a vulnerable time. You must be respectful, humble, and peaceful. You may be an expert, but this is their Daddy. They know what he likes and what he doesn’t like. Often, they’ve been doing the hands-on care for some time. Listen well to what they say and what they don’t say. Take your cues from them. If they are emotionally bankrupt, you will need to step in and steer them through the immediate decisions that must be made.

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Medium 9781576750919

PeopleSmart Skill 3

Mel Silberman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Since people cannot read minds, you must tell them what you want.

—PATRICIA JAKUBOWSKI

You can’t be all things to all people. If you try, you’ll wind up disappointing them. That’s because others will come to expect too much from you, and you’re bound to fail from time to time.72

We all have limits, even those among us who are “superhuman.” And that is healthy. There are some things you shouldn’t do for others, either because they need to do it for themselves or because it will rob you of your ability to care for yourself and for those who really need your help.

Besides having healthy limits, you also need to speak up so others know what they are. Holding back what you need from others only leads to frustration. Once that happens, you may become angry at others and lose the calm and confidence you need to be at your best:

Don is a people pleaser. He doesn’t like disapproval and organizes his day around doing what will be popular with others. At work, Don lives by the motto, “You won’t rock the boat if you follow the waves.” He watches for clues and listens for statements about what others want and makes sure he’s on the popular side. Being agreeable and willing to comply, he stays afloat but goes largely unnoticed when new opportunities arise. If you asked Don if his needs were being met, he would probably say they were. Resentment builds up slowly in him, but it begins to surface with sarcasm and erupts on occasion with uncontrollable anger.

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Medium 9781574412444

3. Playmates

Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe University of North Texas Press PDF

Playmates

Sam’s preschool room was pleasant enough. One wall was lined with windows. The teacher, Mrs. Vargas, had a computer in the corner with a few games that taught the alphabet, math concepts, and counting. She seldom let Sam or the other eight children, all boys, use the computer. I could tell that Nick had

Down’s syndrome and Max had cerebral palsy. I couldn’t tell what the other children’s disabilities were. I didn’t ask because

I’d recently learned another one of the California Rules of Special Education Order: We Don’t Label A Child. They put the policy in place, ostensibly, because labels impose artificial limits upon children.

Mrs. Vargas was excited about the new, whole-language method of readying children for reading. She read books like

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to the boys each day as they sat on carpet squares in a circle around her. She bought editions with pages as big as movie posters, and pointed to the giant-print words as she read them. Some of the books dwarfed Russell and John, the smallest boys in the class. Maybe they were preemies, I thought.

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Medium 9780819833983

Chapter Two The Starting Point: Values Articulation

Hosea M. Rupprecht Fsp Pauline Books and Media ePub

Do you remember when you learned how to ride a bike? The fun and the thrill? Maybe you haven’t ridden a bike for a long time, but you would still be able to do it if the opportunity presented itself. There are things in life that once learned can never really be unlearned, things like riding a bike, swimming, or playing a musical instrument. If you don’t do it for a while, a little practice gets you right back on track. It’s the same with values. Once learned they can’t be unlearned. If they are not practiced regularly, their effectiveness in your life can wane, but you will always know what they are and how to live them. Making the effort to keep practicing our values is the work of living a life in imitation of Jesus Christ.

Values are ideas or ideals that give direction and purpose to our life. They are not something we learn out of a book. Children learn values first by observing them being lived by other people, most of all, you, their parents. When you take your child into your arms and tell her that you love her, she knows instinctively that it is true. She can feel it. She can’t define love (who can?) but she can say, “Love is when Mommy and Daddy hug me tight.”

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Medium 9780819848550

Doing It All

Danielle Bean Pauline Books and Media ePub

Doing It All

Good news, ladies. You can have it all. You can be it all. And you can do it all. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the covers of the popular women’s magazines in the checkout aisle of your local supermarket. There you’ll find articles detailing exactly how you can (and should!) be the world’s best wife, mother, lover, career woman, homemaker, political activist, and Brownie troop leader…all without breaking a sweat. Or a perfectly manicured fingernail, for that matter.

I know this is an issue that speaks to the hearts of women everywhere because it’s a question I get asked all the time: You have a husband, children, work, a house, a spiritual life, and homeschooling. How do you do it all?

How do I do it all? That’s actually an easy question to answer: I don’t. Nobody can and nobody does.

While it’s true that today’s women have more options and opportunities than those of past generations, our modern culture’s insistence that women can have and do it all sometimes leaves us feeling like failures when we don’t and we can’t. And yet, stubbornly, we cling to the notion that some women do indeed have and do it all, don’t we?

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Medium 9781574411621

photo gallery

Donna S. Davenport University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574411904

Chapter 2: Benefits

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Two

Benefits

The benefits of equine assisted activities (EAA) or therapeutic riding, though numerous and varied, can be grouped into four categories: physical, psychological, functional (cognitive), and educational.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

Because a horse’s gait closely emulates that of a human, horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner comparable to walking. We all know how important walking is; experts say it is the only exercise we need if it is done consistently.

The most measurable effects from the way a horse’s motion moves the body include: greater strength and agility, improved balance and posture, weight-bearing ability, improved circulation, respiration, and metabolism. No other modality mimics the walking gait of a human and stimulates virtually every movement system in the body.

Walking takes more than muscles. It takes balance, a delicate coordination of different parts of the body and brain. Riding a horse allows the brain to practice correct walking movement patterns, giving not only the muscles an opportunity to experience the motion, but also the vestibular system, particularly for a person who moves very little.

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Medium 9781576754801

1: MAKING FAMILY YOUR CAUSE

Roberto Vargas Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As activists or people who deeply care about others, we want our society to work for all, and our world to be safe and plentiful for our future generations. For this reason, many of us commit heart and energy to the causes important to us. Maybe our cause is to protect our environment, ensure safe schools and parks for our children, or raise funds to prevent AIDS or cancer. In our passion to make a difference, we often become so focused on our cause that we miss a key principle essential to advancing our vision. The change we desire in the world begins within ourselves and our networks of family and friends.

The idea that we must embody the change we desire is critical, and the “we” includes our circles of family and friends. Whether our commitment is for social justice or a sustainable world, family must be included. For it is among family and friends that we most experience the relationships and support that bring us meaning and joy. Yet, despite the central role that families play in our lives, we often neglect to teach love and change among the people closest to us, to care for and enlist them in creating the better world we seek.

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Medium 9781574412697

Sunrise

Dan E. Burns University of North Texas Press PDF

Sunrise

The collision with Dr. Hitzfelder whiplashed us into action. There

had to be a medical treatment for Ben. She had just not been keeping up. Sue and I were going to beat this thing.

“Dan, the doctor didn’t say he was autistic.”

She didn’t have to.

I supposed Dr. Hitzfelder was trying to spare us. For her, the word autism was a label that would lock Ben forever in a padded cell, no medical treatment, beyond help. For me, it was the key that would let him out.

The battle began.

Sue and I had a secret weapon. In the early days of the Internet, few doctors had network access. But I had a dial-up modem.

Screech! Bawk! I logged into Medline, gateway to five thousand biomedical journals, and typed in “autism.” A stream of green letters scrolled across the screen: “Clonidine, an Alpha-adrenoceptor

Agonist, Reduces Melatonin Levels in Mice.”

Hieroglyphics. Would Clonidine help Ben? The article didn’t say. How about the next article? Hundreds of titles. Which of these arcane texts contained clues to the cure? I was going to need a medical degree to decipher the mind-numbing jargon.

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Medium 9780819833907

Chapter 15: Don’t Get Mad. Don’t Get Even. Get Peaceful.

Marshall J. Cook Pauline Books and Media ePub

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

— Luke 6:27

Chapter 15

Don’t Get Mad. Don’t Get Even. Get Peaceful.

My father was a powerful, athletic man all his life, and he had a strong temper. But as he grew older, he became more and more at peace with the world. As his body failed, his spirit grew stronger. In his last days before he died of cancer, I spent a lot of time at his bedside. One morning, he said something I’ll carry with me always.

“I used to get so mad at people,” he reflected. “Now I just say a little prayer for them.”

While dying on the cross, Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive his tormenters. Can you imagine? Even in his agony, he sought salvation for his killers, a final, astounding act of forgiveness.

He had always preached forgiveness, of course, stressing in parables that God would deal with us precisely as we dealt with others. Think of the foolish servant, whose master forgives him a huge debt, but who then refuses to forgive a much smaller one. When the master finds out, he has the perfidious servant cast into jail. So it will be for us, Jesus warned, if we fail to forgive.

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5. First Steps

Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe University of North Texas Press PDF

didn’t even realize that we’d both forgotten until after he went to bed. I felt guilty. But I didn’t want to wake him up. Midmorning the next day, I brought Sam to my bedroom to lie down next to me. He latched on, took a swallow, made a face.

He let go, rolled over and looked away.

I was bewildered. Was this how all babies stopped nursing?

Or did my milk go sour? I sensed that Sam would never ask for my breast again. I was right. At ten months old, he stopped nursing. I bound myself and took hot showers for the next few days as my right breast shrunk to meet my left.

Sam was now too old to be swaddled, too big for the windup swing. Mark and I had no more ideas to calm him when he was upset. Some nights, we gave up, buckled him in his car seat and drove for miles, hoping he would fall asleep to the gentle drone of our tires pacing the well-groomed California freeways.

First Steps

As Sam grew from a baby to a toddler, he met enough developmental milestones that he stayed off the pediatrician’s radar of concern. At six months, Sam sat up. At seven months, he crawled. At one year, he walked on his own. I marked these firsts by putting a sticker on his “Baby’s First Year” calendar or making short entries in his baby book. Sam preferred walking to crawling, so from about eight months on, Sam would whine and gesture to Mark or me to lend him our fingers to better balance himself. We bent over and walked with Sam until our backs ached.

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Medium 9781576757642

12. Can I be fearless?

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Can I be fearless?

Human history is filled with stories of countless people who have been fearless. If we look at our own families, perhaps going back several generations, we’ll find among our own ancestors those who also have been fearless. They may have been immigrants who bravely left the safety of home, veterans who courageously fought in wars, families who endured economic hardships, war, persecution, slavery, oppression, dislocation. We all carry within us this lineage of fearlessness.

But what is fearlessness? It’s not being free of fear, for fear is part of our human journey. Parker Palmer, an extraordinary educator and writer, notes:

Fear is so fundamental to the human condition that all the great spiritual traditions originate in an effort to overcome its effects on our lives. With different words, they all proclaim the same core message:

“Be not afraid.”

. . . It is important to note with care what that core teaching does and does not say. “Be not afraid” does not say that we should not have fears—and if it did, we could dismiss it as an impossible counsel of perfection. Instead, it says that we do not need to be our fears, quite a different proposition.

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Medium 9781576751794

CHAPTER 37: AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARENTS

Stewart Levine Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Most people receive very little training on how to live effectively and
harmoniously with themselves and others. This I believe is an unfortunate
outcome of our parenting beliefs and methods [that] emphasize academic and
vocational skills and place little or no emphasis or value on providing a person
with the essential skills to live a life of personal fulfillment, contribution and
self actualization.… Without proper training on how to make wise choices
in one’s life, the chances are very slim anyone will make them.

—Sidney Madwed

A great deal of uncertainty and insecurity for kids can be caused when parents are constantly arguing, disagreeing in response to kids requests, and allowing a child to play one parent against the other. A few years ago, I was involved with just such a family dynamic. The teenage son, Roy, had acted out self-destructively. The adults in the household were highly intelligent, super-competitive, type A professionals. Unfortunately, in front of their children, they were always competing with each other, and each of them always had to be right.

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Medium 9781576750919

People Smart Skill 1

Mel Silberman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You can see a lot, just by listening.

—YOGI BERRA

The existentialist philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, observed that hell is other people! We agree in one sense. If understanding others were an easy proposition, people wouldn’t have so many idiomatic expressions to express its difficulty:20

Despite the challenge, trying to understand others is the cornerstone of interpersonal intelligence. When you don’t understand other people, you can’t influence, collaborate, or resolve conflicts with them. On the other hand, when you do understand how others think, feel, and perceive—when you can see through their eyes—all kinds of connection are possible:

Consider the case of a busy patent attorney we’ll call Larry. He’s not a bad guy, but sometimes he’s a bad listener and doesn’t tune in to others well. Larry puts in long hours and is usually drained when he finally gets home at the end of the day. A typical evening conversation between Larry and his wife, Laura, goes something like this:

Compare Larry to Pete. Pete is a doctor who conveys to his patients that they are the only important people in his life at the moment he is seeing them, even though he’s got a packed waiting room. How does he do it? For starters, his staff is instructed not to interrupt patient visits except when there is an emergency. He listens to them as they tell their problems in detail and uses paraphrasing to show that he understands. Dr. Pete used to think that as soon as he heard enough to make a diagnosis it was expedient to interrupt the patient and make his recommendations. However, he has learned over the years that cutting people off too soon often leads to a misdiagnosis. He’s also noticed that when patients feel listened to, they are more informative.22

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