Tag Archives: focusingongrowth

This is a great read!!!!!

Solacers_a_memoir

Solacers: a memoir by Arion Golmakami

I really loved this book! Golmakami voice brings a captivating depth to his early life’s journey.

It is written with courage, honesty, love, and hope. The boy’s life story is unnervingly entrancing and depressing while also being dramatically fascinating due to his resolve to keep on keeping on. This memoir tells the story of an Iranian boy who becomes an abandoned child as a preschooler. This makes him an orphan. It is complicated because both of his parents are alive and have families they are raising, yet he is not a part of either of their families. Conditions get arranged from time to time to attempt to have him housed, yet he is absolutely abandoned emotionally, physically and financially.

You will want to read this book because this little boy is resourceful, observant and loving – even with the isolation and hardship he is facing. He is a boy with dreams: Dreams that most anyone would discount as impossibly unreasonable. Those dreams and some good fortune allowed him to survive. Yes, survive, there were many real threats to him that could have led to his end.

As you read, be prepared for hardship, disaster, pain, desperation and unfulfilled promise. And be willing to envelop yourself in this young boy’s journey. This memoir will allow you to witness an unimaginable passage through childhood. This child’s resilience is tangible.

It was a finalist for Best Nonfiction-Stanford University Libraries- William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in 2012. Golmakami published this memoir when he was 55 years old and it covers his early years through his 17 year.

Here quotes that I found powerful and want to share.

The author writes: “Why couldn’t I have a home like his (referring to his father) children and my mother’s children?”

“While I never stopped longing for a place to call home, after two years of wondering from place to place, I had come to accept my circumstances and it didn’t matter where I was being taken anymore. At that age (7 years old) I was like water that had been spilled from a fallen pitcher into the ground; all I could do was follow the gravity and hope for a depth large enough to hold me for a while, until such a time that I could grow into a stream of my own and carve my own path through life.”

His is a story of compassionate understanding and with his intentional will to survive. He writes: “There is a unique pleasure found in forgiveness that can never be found in revenge.”

As a ten-year-old,  on his own he explains: “Loneliness, constant hunger, and boredom made every hour of every day weigh a thousand tons.” “Only ten years old and without any money or permanent address to go to, I led the life of an alley cat.” Because of my pride, “I never begged for anything, refused to touch anyone’s food, and asked no one for help.”

Golmakami writes: “I believe those who have spiritually evolved – and by that I do not mean religiously – perceive the world and everyone in it as ‘us,’ as did Momon Bozorg, while the unenlightened souls view the world as ‘me’ and ‘not me,’ while in Momon Bozorg’s spiritually driven view, we were all water of the same ocean separated only by a physical bottle called body.”

A Book I Contributed to on Interdependent Thinking

Power_of_the_Social_Brain
I have had the good fortune to both write the forward for this Teachers College Press book and contribute a chapter.

The Foreword focuses on the value of “thinking together”. The chapter I wrote is titled: “Creating and Influencing Momentum: The Challenges and Power of Adults Thinking Interdependently”.

Additionally, I work with Patricia Reeves with the Courageous Journey and she wrote a chapter on the Courageous Journey titled: “In The Company of School Leaders”.

The book is officially released soon. It can currently be ordered from Amazon.

Here is what a couple of reviewers have said: ”As the authors point out, as a society and in our institutions, we spend almost no time learning how to think, learn, and work together. Thinking with others is its own skill, and it is high time people thought about how to optimize this skill. This is exactly what this book seeks to do.” –Matthew D. Lieberman, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Bio-behavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

”A rare and relevant publication for all who care about a universally human enterprise.” — Robin Fogarty, author and education consultant, Robin Fogarty and Associates

And this is from the publisher:

‘Cooperative learning has been demonstrated by research to be one of the most highly effective teaching strategies, but simply putting students in a group is not enough. The authors of The Power of the Social Brain see “interdependent thinking” as the missing piece of the collaborative puzzle. This authoritative book provides research from the neurosciences and education along with practical strategies to help groups function more effectively and thoughtfully. By adding the “cognitive dimension” to cooperative learning, this book will help readers apply strategies of successful group work in classrooms and professional educational learning communities.’