Years ago, I taught school in a district between Tucson and the Mexican border. One night I randomly happened upon child abuse statistics. Yearly, referrals to state child protective services involve about 9% of the children in the US (6.6 million of 74 million). So I did the math for my classrooms and realized that statistically, two per class might be being abused. That changes the way you look at those misbehaving middle schoolers…

It goes to the heart of the matter.

A couple more statistics… 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes.

50% of Syria’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.

Unless you have a heart of stone, these stats go to the heart of the matter.

Child abuse breaks your heart.

And about that youth offender stat, DenverWorks has dealt with hundreds, if not thousands, of youth offenders, and although I don’t excuse their criminal activity, when you hear their back stories, it gives your heart…pause.

And the Syria stories come close to destroying the heart.

Broken hearts, paused hearts, damn-near-destroyed hearts.

And they call me a bleeding heart…

Well, bring it!

Last week’s blog was on wisdom. I believe wisdom is both cerebral AND compassionate. Head AND heart. (Last time I checked we have both.)  I encourage us all to think AND feel.

And one way is to listen to people’s stories.

To go to the heart of the matter.

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