Monday, January 24, 2011

Pursuing snow and talking justice.

While taking the high school and junior high youth on a trip to find snow in Arizona, I had the chance to experience some touching and exciting moments. While playing something called The Ungame:
Q: What would you do if you found out you had a week to live.
A: (Jr. High girl) I would cry.
Q: Okay, anything else?
A: I would hide because I wouldn't want to make anyone else sad.

# # #

Q: What is one thing that peopel don't know about you?
A: (H.S. girl) That's hard because I'm so outgoing. People know everything about me. I don't know. I guess I wish my family was closer.

# # #

Q: What are the four most important things to you ad why?
A: (H.S. boy) . . . and fourth, I guess self-awareness because you can't improve as a person unless you are self-aware.
We also had a variety of formal and informal conversations. I began a conversation with a group of high school boys about whether they would act justly if they could get away without acting justly. The conversation evolved to one boy openning my eyes when he said he would always act justly, but unlike what another boy said, guilt had nothing to do with it. He said that if he did something wrong he would (1) accept personal responsibility (2) work to fix it and (3) not do it again, but he would not feel bad about himself over it, or have an emotional response about something that happened in the past. We talked about whether there was value in "feeling bad" and came across the notion that perhaps others would have trouble accepting your apology if you did not feel bad about having made a mistake. He stuck to his guns and said that he couldn't feel what he doesn't feel. He would, however, accomodate such a person by making an effort to assure them the mistake wouldn't happen again.

We have a formal discussion about New Year's Resolutions that could focus on spiritual development in addition to growing your mind and body. (A little disturbing how many 11-17 year olds list eating better as a resolution.) We also talked about how to both be truthful and constructive with the tone of our speech.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Passing It On

To assist the community in response to Saturday's shooting at the northwest Safeway, Tucson Medical Center and the YWCA are offering community stress debriefings today, Monday, Jan. 10.

These sessions are being organized by Tucson Medical Center and its partners United Healthcare and OptumHealth, who have extensive national community crisis counseling experience.

Counselors will be available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., with group sessions at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the following locations:

• El Dorado Healthy Living Connection, 1400 N. Wilmot Road

• YWCA of Tucson, conference center, 525 N. Bonita Ave.
There will also be sessions for staff and the community at Tucson Medical Center.

• TMC Marshall Conference Center, 5301 E Grant Road will have sessions between 9 and 11 a.m.; 2 and 4 p.m.; and 6 - 8 p.m.

A free help line was also established for people in Tucson, Ariz., faced with the emotional consequences of the recent shooting. Staffed by experienced master's-level behavioral health specialists, the free help line offers assistance to callers seeking help in dealing with stress, anxiety and the grieving process. Callers may also receive referrals to a database of community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.
The toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Resources and information are also available via the Internet in English at and in Spanish at
The services are free of charge and are open to anyone. In addition, UnitedHealthcare clients are able to have onsite counselors to assist with any type of emotional assistance.