GRAND Magazine - Summer 2021 - 37

legacy
CARING
How do I teach caring skills?
How do I make it simple?
Do I advocate, abdicate, dictate?
How do I teach caring skills?
What is the recipe?
A prescription, catechism, litany?
How do I teach them how to see caring skills?
That plastic world: computers, cellphones, neon
tubes.
What did we lose?
How do you articulate not to hate?
How do you accommodate, stimulate, caring
skills?
Maybe it just can't be?
How to see?
How to care?
To get them to see how the other guy hurts, cries,
Maybe even without tears in his eyes.
How do you teach caring skills?
Maybe it takes too much effort to care.
There are too many hurts when it doesn't work.
Hurts are not seen as the other person's thing.
They are just hurts.
To the guy they sting.
How do you teach caring skills?
37 GRAND Summer 2021
The 10,000 Foot View
With the vantage point of a lifetime, I now approach
the poem through lens of an investigator. Why did I
connect so deeply with this situation? Maybe it was
my own notion of feeling alone as a child. My mom
died when I was three. Over the next four years, until
my dad remarried, I lived with my aunt.
What I most remember from those years was the
metal alligator she kept in the fireplace near the
alcove where I slept, which gave me nightmares.
I flunked 2nd
grade. And the teacher
called us out by name. " They flunked! " she
announced to the class. I went to boy scout
camp at 10 or 11. I don't remember it well,
other than it was not a good experience. I felt
like I didn't fit in.
Perhaps that's where I got the love of
camping that fueled the rest of my life.
How could I create a different experience
for other children? One where they
felt inspired and connected. I created my
first summer camp for children of military
families when I was stationed in Japan
during the occupation at the end of WWII.
I trained in group therapy as part of my
master's program at the Jane Addams
College of Social Work. I was drawn to
understanding group dynamics. Maybe
the attraction to groups was how to make
sure that the one skinny kid who wasn't
great at sports (but was a super dancer!)
could fit in, and how those in charge
could create the environment for that to
happen.
Looking back, I'm grateful for the chance to have
influenced communities when I held big leadership
positions. But often it's when you can have a positive
impact on individual lives that it makes the most profound
difference.
Jerry Witkovsky, Author of The
Grandest Love and a longtime
social work professional,
grandparenting activist, and
passionate grandpa, author Jerry
Witkovsky offers fresh approaches
to help grandparents enter their
grandchild's world, to leave values, not just valuables
and create a living legacy. Jerry shares more about
the Grandparent-Grandchild Connection School
Program and encourages grandparents to unleash
their creativity and unique gifts to transform their
family at www.grandparentsunleashed.com.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0994809700/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0994809700&linkId=c0cf2342749a51234e00421ef2df453e https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B6QYSW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B003B6QYSW&linkId=74a78ba0a510c9871c2e38f745d59213

GRAND Magazine - Summer 2021

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