Who Changed Your Life?

Who Changed Your Life? was the question which propelled the SOCRATIC CONVERSATION conducted by Ron Gross on August 9th.

The session opened by noting President  Obama’s observation that “none of us have achieved what we have achieved in life, on our own.  We all had people who were crucial to our development: teachers, parents, friends….”   Then, discussants  drew from the book that inspired the dialogue, The Person Who Changed My Life, by Mathilda Cuomo; several of the contributors to that book were cited, including the late Nora Ephron.

Each participant shared an appreciation of one of their mentors, role-models, heroes or “sheroes”, and how they are “passing it forward” to others, responding to four questions:

1.    What was the an important impact of a person who had a major on your life?

2.    How did they do it?

3.    What were the results?  What role did they play in your developing your values…choices…ambitions?

4.    Are you mentoring others?  How?

After evoking the positive dimensions of Mentoring, three participants explored the “dark side”:  negative experiences with people who changed their  life.

The session Socratically “interrogated” the concept and practice of Mentoring, leading to the insight that whenever adults are in a position to shape the lives of young people, there should be constant vigilance on the part of both the individuals involved, and the institutions.

Join us for the next Socratic Conversation, Laughing Matters! What Role Does Humor Play in Your Life — and in Our Culture?, on September 6th, 4-5 pm,  Second Floor Salon.