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January 14, 2009

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in Uncategorized.

Partnership…The Work of Champions

In work with children a team means everything. Your child’s self esteem and ways of relating are constructed by what they learn from team interaction. Even in graduate school students learn that the key to power for scientists is flexibility and cooperation. Many experiments show success after many well planned failures. Sometimes it takes only a new way of seeing to trigger a break through. We can mourn the past or prepare for the future, we can not do both. Often weakness in one team member will trigger unknown strength in another so it pays to obey the three fs of creativity,. Fun, flexibility and favor.

Blessed are the Flexible, for They Shall Not be Broken

One day I was trying to find a stick to roast marshmallows on. The old ones were easy to separate from the branch but were dry and brittle. The young ones did not seem that strong but they could not be broken. They were attached to the tree and gained strength and life from it. This is like your family and you. When we are attached and meet needs for each other we are strong but when we allow the stress of life to separate us from kindness and humor our loved ones draw away in pain and begin to dry from the inside out. This applies to older people too. I will use the analogy of a Christmas tree. When I was small and Christmas was over I wanted to replant the Christmas tree. My mother laughed and said it has no roots and it is already dead. I was sure she was wrong and planted it anyway! It was cold so it looked like my mother was wrong and I rejoiced, I did notice it was not growing though….when a warm spell came death became apparent. Our roots are our families and those we work with, we can choose to be roots that help them grow or just leave them planted and alone and see how they do…. It is good to remember that live trees are a source of shade and beauty, dead trees are ugly and take a lot of work.

To help you with your choice here are two stories

Many years ago there were two gifted artists. They were poor and scholarships went to the politically astute so they were on their own with talent and no money. They devised a plan. The one brother went into the mines to work and support the other while he went to graduate school. This brother, spurred on by the help of his brother graduated with honors and became widely acclaimed. He went back to his brother with joy and said “I can put you through school with class”. The other brother without bitterness lifted up his hands to show them to his brother, they were broken and crooked from years in the mines. He said “I can not go, the mines have cost me my hands” The artist did a sculpture of his brothers hands, they became his greatest work. Most of us know them as they became the image for the famous serenity prayer. In life sometimes we are the hands and at other times the artist. It is good to consider the cost to our team and provide feedback and favor before hands are destroyed.

The next story gives a vivid example of how we can color one another’s world

The Serenity Prayer

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things we cannot change,
The courage to change the things we can that,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

-Reverend Reinhold Niebuhr (1930-40)

The next story, “The Window,” gives a vivid example of how we can color one another’s world

The Window

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, think of all the things you have that money can’t buy.

Today is a gift; that’s why it is called “The Present.”

by Amy Price, PhD © 2007



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