Juhi Sharma’s not-for-profit organisation Light Up focuses on harnessing the emotional intelligence of children, parents and teachers, and providing them with tools to form a cohesive, non-violent, and caring community. The education system, Juhi believes, fails to help children build a strong emotional foundation and skill sets which would help them to “survive in the real world”. Real-life experiences teach them “a half-baked approach” that often manifests itself in layers of anger issues, fear and sadness, and more importantly, signs of early stage anxiety and depression.
I believe we advocate best for our children when we put their autistic behaviors in context rather than let others assume the worst. We advocate best if our words are not angry or defensive, just factual, “My child has autism, I’m doing the best I can.” Because we are not seeking to punish the people who might be our greatest allies, if only they understood. But now the burden shifts to you, general public. All you bystanders who don’t know what to do when you witness the unthinkable. The answer is tolerance – you have a duty not to comment cruelly, not to insist we leave.
The reason I started Thinking Good … Well as I endeavor to be the best I can be for my family and myself, I have found a dearth of quality information and resources dedicated to helping men work through the challenges we encounter as 21st Century husbands and fathers.
That’s why I founded Thinking Good, a media and lifestyle community, that helps men be their better selves. Our mission is to empower us to be better husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, friends, entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and thinkers. Not just for ourselves, but also our families and communities.
Want to learn more about Thinking Good? Check out these posts:
I live in the Edgewood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. across the street from a school. When my wife and I bought our house, it was a public school serving a low to moderate-income population that was 95 percent African American, reflecting the neighborhood demographics.
Each morning when I headed to work I’d find a trail of discarded Little Hug juice bottles, honey bun wrappers and empty potato chip bags leading to the school. Weeds sprouted through the cracks in the asphalt on the school grounds and the play structure was tattered and rusty. The schoolyard looked more like a laboratory for tetanus rather than a playground for children. Inside, portable walls, not classrooms, separated the kids who were group two grades at a time (1st & 2nd, 3rd & 4th). When I visited the school to inquire about volunteering one morning, I heard several teachers instructing their students at the same time, and a disruption in one classroom affected the others.
The school closed a few years after we moved in and briefly became a hangout for older teens and young adults who smoked weed, drank and played dice.
Eventually, gentrification took over, the school was reopened as a charter school and the building was overhauled. The playground was upgraded. Sunflowers and a community garden replaced the weeds. Woodchips covered the fissured asphalt. A section of the sidewalk was replaced and white children soon made up about 40 percent of the new student body—although the neighborhood demographics barely changed. Former First Lady and President Obama even came to christen the new facility. Even the litter got an upgrade, with Honest Juice boxes and string-cheese wrappers in the gutter instead of the cheap, corner-store junk-food trash.
Parking is a little harder to find, hey, that’s life in the big city.