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Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung once exchanged animated letters discussing the "three major wounds" of mankind.

Freud contended that the first wound occurred when Copernicus discovered we were not the center of the universe. He said the second wound came when Darwin discovered we had not descended from the heavens, but had instead ascended from the apes. Finally, Freud humbly attributed to himself the discovery that a sea of dark conflicts exists in the deep reaches of the mind.

Carl Jung wrote back and said that for all great wounds there are great healings. Through Copernicus, we discovered we were part of something more vast and wondrous than we had ever imagined. From Darwin, we found kinship with all living things. Even Freud, while discovering much going on far down in the mind, brought forth the wonderful discovery of a depth more incredible than we had ever thought.

Well, those three wounds may have included "healings." But I submit that in the past four decades, we have experienced a fourth wound - isolation - that is far from being healed.

Few would argue that the pace and technology of modern life are increasing our isolation. Our daily commutes have grown from minutes to, very often, hours. Our TV consumption has grown from one to nearly eight hours a day. Time we spend playing electronic games, on the computer, texting, on the phone, etc. has walled us off from face-to-face engagement - and those walls keep getting higher. We all watch this happening. We do nothing

But here's the real danger: for kids, there is no greater wound than feeling isolated. The consequences of this wound are to drop out of school, join a gang, become a teen parent, abuse drugs.

So what can we do? How can we heal this wound that is festering in our young people?

All the talking, pamphlets, and slogans in the world have not, and will not, mitigate this wound. Only getting involved with our kids will. And that's what mentoring does. Mentoring is the most potent youth development asset we have to address the needs of the 15 million kids who woke up today without a caring adult in their lives.

Lifeplan was created so that a mentor-or a teacher, coach, or even parent-can create the kind of relationship with a young person that replaces isolation. Instead of being alone and trying to survive, Lifeplan helps young people get involved, develop their life's path, and THRIVE. That's a "great healing" that our young people so poignantly deserve.

All the best,


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