Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Path Appears

“If we want to nurture university graduates, maybe the most cost-effective way is to donate not to a college but to a nursery school or parent visitation program.  We wish more donors would endow not just professorships but also the jobs of nurses who visit at-risk parents (66).”  

A Path Appears – Transforming Lives Creating Opportunity by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn.  

Kirstoff and WuDunn tell of an experiment where random people were given small amounts of money and then either told to use it as a gift/donation or spend it on themselves.    “When a researcher telephoned each participant for a follow-up, those assigned to spend money on others reported being significantly happier than those who spent it on themselves (it didn’t matter if it was $5 or $20) (239).”

They also write about this cool woman, Diana McDonough, who adored her 8 grandchildren yet became upset that by accident her beautiful and fragile granddaughter was born into privilege and others were not.  She started an organization with women who gave to far needier children whenever they gave something to their own grandchild.  Go Diana!!

Then there was an experiment where students were in a waiting room and a woman behind a screen was perceived as climbing on a chair to get something and then falling down.   She made sounds and said she was in pain/injured.  If the student was alone he/she helped 70% of the time.  However if someone else was in the room who seemed not to care the student helped only 7% of the time (194).  I can easily see myself as that student in the room – certain to help if alone, but easily dissuaded by others to ignore.  Walk through any major city and this can clearly be illustrated.

The captain of my mid-week soccer team strikes me as a kind-hearted person.  I thought it the first day I met him and I thought the same thing last night after our 4th game.  So I decided to send him an email today saying just that.   

I’ve been taking a vulnerability writing class which has made me especially aware of when I feel vulnerable.  And I did feel vulnerable sending that message, “What if he thinks I’m interested in him?  I don’t mean it that way, maybe I shouldn’t send it.  Is this weird?”  These were some of my  thoughts.  But no, it was a simple and kind observation so I sent it.  He replied, “Thanks for such kind words! Your message has brightened my day!” 

I'm making some homemade vegetarian lunch "meat", or rather, sandwich filling for the first time.  It is supposed to bake for 2 1/2 hours!  I guess I'll be pulling it out right before bed.

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