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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 6.16.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder


I’m always reading about other practices/systems that are going through similar problems to education. Medicine is one of them. Both have many wonderful people in a very lousy system. In this article, physicians and healthcare professionals expose the system for its faults as it has been taken over by big business over the past 30 years.

“I think a lot of doctors are feeling like something is troubling them, something deep in their core that they committed themselves to,” Dean says. She notes that the term moral injury was originally coined by the psychiatrist Jonathan Shay to describe the wound that forms when a person’s sense of what is right is betrayed by leaders in high-stakes situations. “Not only are clinicians feeling betrayed by their leadership,” she says, “but when they allow these barriers to get in the way, they are part of the betrayal. They’re the instruments of betrayal.”

I hope everyone reads this article and starts thinking about prevention and personal health as a set of community initiatives. A good example of what a community can do about this crisis in medicine is The Friendship Bench. A few days before I read this article, Pam Roy asked me to review, The Friendship Bench - How 14 Grandmothers and a Psychiatrist Inspired a New Solution for Depression by Dixon Chibanda

Pam supported the production of a new documentary on The Friendship Bench and is now trying to help scale Friendship Benches around the world. In the future, there is the possibility that Friendship Benches can connect to B-Unbound. Dr. Dixon Chibanda is one of only 12 psychiatrists in the entire country of Zimbabwe. In the aftermath of colonization, genocides and epidemics the mental health of an entire nation is a grave concern. To handle the situation, Dr. Chibanda enrolled grandmothers in a clinical, community and cultural approach to both interventions and preventions in mental health that became the Friendship Bench. The research coming out of this work is more than promising. Once again, Dr. Chibanda’s own background story about his mother and grandmother loom large in the creation of The Friendship Bench. Does learning through relationships matter?

“You can have a fulfilling, wonderful life doing things differently than other people.” Grandpa Shapiro


Joshua Shapiro and his grandfather, Max Shapiro, celebrated the naming of a street after him in South El Monte in the late 1980s. (Courtesy of Keith Shapiro) My quest to learn more about quality and mastery was placated this week by an article about Joshua Shapiro, a watchmaker. Robin Kramer from Harbor Freight Tool for Schools sent it to me. It turns out that like so many he fit a pattern of developing a relationship with someone who had a passion they shared. In this case, it was hanging out at his grandfather’s machine shop in South El Monte.


Met Graduation

Jasmin and Angel – BPLiving 2023 grads Yesterday at The Met graduation there was a celebration of not only Dennis’ work at The Met but of all the founders who started it. Keith Oliveira and Brian Mills were present and part of that amazing group. Also, in this group of Founders were: Elyane Walker-Cabral, Elaine Hackney, Sanna Randolph, Julie Gainsburg, Steve Andrade, Amanda Lashaw, Cathy DiNetto, a young graduate student at Brown Danique Dolly and a little bit later on the scene Pam MacDonald. In those days and to this day, the way we work is summed up by Nicola Jokic, the new Yogi Berra, who seems to be muscling in on my territory as well by saying stuff that only make sense after you go wait a minute, what the hell did he say? After winning the championship game, a reporter asked him how they did what they did and he stated: "First you need to be bad. Then when you're bad you get good. Then once you're good, you need to fail. Then once you've failed, you can figure it out." I couldn't say it any better. This is how we work.


Congratulations to the Met graduates of 2023 and their community of advisors, parents, and mentors. They endured a pandemic together and came out the other end. Everyone I spoke with told me how different and great this group of students is. Although we all know the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, no one talked about learning loss or mental health. It seems because of the pandemic they were different in good ways not just in bad ways.


Happy Juneteenth! – Hidden Juneteenth History by Tiya Miles Happy Pops Day! Be well!

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