Youngsters who grow up in poverty or in dysfunctional families badly need stable adults in their world. David Bornstein reports in the New York Times on a mentoring program called Friends of the Children, founded by Duncan Campbell of Portland, Oregon. The program pairs paid volunteers with kids who need stable companionship. Over time, solid and trustful personal relationships help these children do better in school and eventually build productive lives.
We are social beings, after all – which means that we don’t just “have” relationships. In a very real sense, we “are” our relationships. If our only relationships are with individuals perpetually on the edge, it’s hard for us to find our own balance.