I am alive today and experiencing exceptional health because of Dr. Jack Scanlon. Two years ago, I was unaware that a major artery in my heart was 90% blocked. During a routine doctor visit with Jack, he probed with questions about how I was feeling. Based on what he heard from his probing questions, he scheduled follow-up tests. A week later a talented cardiologist put a stent in my heart that cleared up the blockage and allows me to do all sorts of enjoyable and strenuous activities.
Probing is to inquire closely into something, to explore or examine. It can make a difference in our physical, emotional, mental, and social life. Conditions in 2020 America are eliciting a time for probing. During this time of pandemic, during this time of economic upheaval, during this time of social unrest, during this time of uncertainty and change, probing is necessary for our overall personal and national health and well-being.
During the last few months, our Top 20 team has been probing our own thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes regarding people who are different from us…people from a different race, a different culture, or with different beliefs or life experiences. In particular, we are probing the way we conduct trainings and the language and examples we use in our sessions, books, and curriculum. We are specifically probing for biases, prejudices, and for false or limiting assumptions and beliefs.
We want our lives and our work to be respectful of the uniqueness of all people. Because we work with diverse people in American schools and businesses, because people we never meet use our books, journals, and curriculum, we are probing into how best to share Top 20 concepts, principles and strategies so as to support all people in enhancing their lives, relationships, and experiences.
This probing is a difficult but necessary task that we are taking seriously at Top 20. Because much of our work and our Top 20 mission is to support students and educators in the development of their potential, we have found a useful tool for our probing. An article by the National Equity Project, “Social-Emotional Learning & Equity Pitfalls & Recommendations”, has provided us with what Dr. Scanlon did for me two years ago. A copy of this article is available here.
If you have any insights or feedback to offer our Top 20 team to help us probe ways to best serve students or adults, know that we would love to hear from you.
May your own probing efforts result in greater health, well-being, and effectiveness.
Best wishes from our probing Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody.
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