Nobody really likes change, instability, flux or uncertainty, at least that is not the norm. We are most comfortable with consistency, stability and a high degree of Permanence. For instance, how many of you would be more comfortable “couch surfing” compared to having your own home? Isn’t it nice to know you have a steady job with a steady income, compared to scraping by every day to survive? And what about tumultuous relationships? Well, their impact is obvious!
Category: Voice of our CEO
Okay, I hope you are already musing over this title. I once wrote a blog entitled, “Baking Cakes,” so this is not too far afield. This is a 50 year flashback to a time in my life where I was going to college full-time and working full-time to pay for it. My employer was Driftwood Dairy which operated several large bottling facilities and numerous “drive-in” locations where you could literally drive into a big building, get your milk, eggs and other dairy products, plus a diverse assortment of groceries, delivered right to your car.
Ever since 9/11, the term “First-Responder” has become embedded within our culture. It was not that long ago that they were simply referred to as police, firefighters, EMTs, et cetera. But First-Responder is really a great term–a class of emergency personnel ready and available anytime, anyplace; whatever the emergency might be.
Three+ years ago I wrote an article published by The Chronicle for Social Change, entitled “California’s Continuum of Care Reform – Will It Produce as Promised?” Fast forward to today--has CCR produced as promised? Remember that the goal of CCR was to reduce group home placements by shifting foster youth to family-based services. There have been some modest accomplishments, but from my perspective, there is a long way to go to really achieve success!
I grew up in a family environment where we were absolutely expected to go to college--no questions asked. I am sure there are many of you who can relate. It was college or college–and, I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life.
Our 2018/2019 Fiscal Year has come and gone – completing the 32nd year of the Family Care Network. As time rushes by us in a blur, it makes one’s head spin. This past cycle of time was no exception. Thank goodness we have the opportunity to look backward and reach into our memory banks to focus once again on the blessings and lessons of our experiences.
We have all been there, seated in a crowded restaurant flooded with the tumult of voices amalgamated into a decibel level so high it is untenable, making it impossible to have a normal conversation. People are talking, but no one is really listening. It is just noise. This serves as a perfect metaphor for our legislative process – the din of voices and wagging tongues, but no one is really listening! Unless you are one of the favored few who can buy ears to listen, you just become part of the noise!
I recently wrote a blog entitled, “Every Now and Then” based on the wonderful quote by Leonardo da Vinci, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work, your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” So, I followed my own advice and went on a three and a half weeks vacation to France with my wife, youngest son and his wife. I’d like to share some lessons from this experience.
Many of you know the story behind my beginning the Family Care Network. One of the driving forces behind it was my frustration of working so many years within the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare systems and the horrible, unconscionable way foster youth were exited from the system--“There’s the door; have a nice life.” Youth were basically forced out on their own, some taken directly to homeless shelters. They had no family, no skills, no resources and were given no support whatsoever.
Stop right now. Lift up your hands and inspect them carefully. What story do they tell? For some of us with more than a few years behind us, they may be scarred, twisted with arthritis or calloused from years of work. While for others, they may be beautiful, well-manicured and happy appendages. Hands are essential. They are a critical connection to others, to our environment, to our success, to our pleasure--to our survival! For a moment, imagine your life without your hands!