All Along the Watchtower: Jimi Hendrix and the Search for Diverse Gifted Learners

by Ben Koch

The recent death of Prince has prompted us here at The Fissure to think about giftedness in celebrities, particularly in the arts.  In this era of selfies and news scandals, we sometimes equate celebrity with a shallow narcissism, and we can forget that many highly successful artists and performers reach the pinnacle of their craft as a result of extraordinary ability and resilience.

As more stories and anecdotes come out about Prince as a young passion-driven musician, we can’t help but draw a keen comparison between Prince and another gifted artist: Jimi Hendrix. Like Prince, Hendrix was able to redraw the cultural lines of racial, ethnic, and gender expectations.  Both developed their gifts against the odds, in an often hostile world, and produced a legacy of beloved music in the process.

In this post, we present Jimi Hendrix as a case study of our need to identify and develop the talents of young, gifted students from diverse backgrounds.  Using Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities as a framework, and drawing on the research of Reva C. Friedman concerning giftedness in low-income families, educators can learn important lessons from his journey.


In the summer of 1966, a virtually unknown and self-taught musician named Jimi Hendrix walked into a New York club to audition for a show.  In a typical and all-too-common scenario, his guitar had been stolen the previous night, so when he got on stage another musician handed him a right-handed guitar.  For most musicians in Jimi’s situation this would have been the end of it, and he would have needed to forfeit his audition—Jimi was left-handed.  Yet, without a second’s hesitation, Jimi took the guitar that had been handed to him, flipped it over, and, to the astonishment of all present began jamming on it upside down as effortlessly and seamlessly as if he were playing his own lefty guitar.
This display of uncanny, virtuosic talent was typical of Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise to fame, and within a year of this event he was enjoying the success of nearly worldwide renown. In the end, however, the rags-to-riches story of Jimi Hendrix is the tragic tale of a gifted human being whose unique needs were never met.  Just like a meteor, his life came crashing to a fiery end, leaving us to wonder what spectacular displays his creative mind might have given us.  The life story of this gifted musician and performer holds many insights and lessons for educators and researchers interested in the identification and development of gifted children—in particular those under-identified students from a low SES background, like Jimi.  Through his lens we can examine gifted identification and mentoring, the importance of developing an internal locus of control, and the consequences when gifted individuals are unable to achieve the positive disintegration that Dabrowski described as essential to healthy growth and human development.

The life story of this gifted musician and performer holds many insights and lessons for educators and researchers interested in the identification and development of gifted children—in particular those under identified students that come from a low SES background, like Jimi.

Using traditional achievement-based methods of identification, it is doubtful that Jimi would have been identified as “gifted” in most programs. Growing up in Seattle in the 1950’s, he displayed the classic symptoms of underachievement:  there was a gross inconsistency between his perceived potential and his academic performance.  Adults in his life considered him bright, polite, and even insightful, yet in elementary school his grades were never better than mediocre.  He did show enough enthusiasm for a very high attendance record during elementary school, and he displayed talent and interest in art.  He had a notebook that he filled with drawings of “flying saucers and drag racers” (Cross, 2005, p. 46) and he liked drawing cars so much that at one point he mailed several car designs to Ford Motor Company.  As Jimi progressed through middle and high school, however, both his grades and attendance gradually declined, and at the ultimate low point, during his senior year, he flunked out of Garfield High School.

From a purely academic, achievement-based viewpoint, the case for Jimi’s giftedness seems dismal.  There are no records of any conducted IQ tests, yet several aspects of his childhood show early suggestions that he was indeed the very gifted diamond in the rough who would later stun the world with his creative talents.

The fact that Jimi made it to his senior year is, in fact, a great testament to his resiliency, and a trait recognized in gifted students from culturally diverse backgrounds (Werner as cited by Davis & Rimm, 2004).  Growing up in a severely broken home, his exposure to abuse, poverty, and alcoholism, the death of his mother, and his nearly daily battle with hunger would have led most in Jimi’s situation down a path of violence or escape.  It’s easy to believe there were many such invitations extended to Jimi—to sell drugs, to join gangs, to use drugs and alcohol—yet time and again, Jimi carried on as if enveloped by a protection from such threats.

This bombardment of struggles and challenges would provide the potential for positive disintegration under Dabrowski’s theory, yet amid it all, it wasn’t innocence or naivete so much as a hypersensitive sense of destiny which seems to have helped Jimi sidestep dangerous fates at an early age. This hypersensitivity is related to a very high imaginational overexcitability, and it is exhibited in many aspects of Jimi’s childhood, particularly as it relates to music.

If anyone—a teacher, a relative, a well-meaning adult—could have recognized and acknowledged the power of Jimi’s focused obsession on becoming a musician, that early energy could have been effectively channeled into helping him become a well-rounded and successful individual in addition to a musician.

Many stories of Jimi’s special sensitivity come through extended community members:  though Jimi and his brother were essentially left to fend for themselves, even to the point of stealing food to survive, they had many unofficial foster families throughout their Seattle neighborhood.  One story involves Jimi’s sudden interest in music at about age 11.  Having never so much as touched a real guitar, he procured a broom and transformed it into his imaginary instrument.  Nearly every day after school he would turn on the radio and strum along with his broom as if he were playing.  One man in the neighborhood observed that he would “play that broom so hard, he would lose all the straw” (Cross, 2004, p. 52).  Later, Jimi was able to upgrade his broom to a beaten-up acoustic guitar with one string.  To most, this would have been a useless instrument, but to the now-obsessed Jimi it became more of a science project: “He experimented with every fret, rattle, buzz and sound-making property the guitar had” (Cross, 2004, p. 52).  He was now displaying incredible aptitude and creativity as an engineer, if you will, or even a scientist in the sense that he was solving authentic problems. This singular obsession, driven by his intense imagination, totally overtook Jimi. When he saw the movie “Johnny Guitar,” in which one of the actors walks around with his guitar hung on his back, he began to carry his one-string guitar around like that, even at school. He would wander the neighborhood and whenever he heard music coming from a garage or home, he would wander in and ask if he could play along. This same one-pointed focus would drive him throughout his career. As an older musician, he would bring his guitar to clubs and shows and pester musicians to teach him tricks, or beg them to let him plug into their amplifiers during breaks. Though generally an extremely shy and understated person, when it came to anything related to advancing his music career, Jimi was a fearless risk-taker.

If anyone—a teacher, a relative, a well-meaning adult—could have recognized and acknowledged the power of Jimi’s focused obsession on becoming a musician, that early energy could have been effectively channeled into helping him become a well-rounded and successful individual in addition to a musician.  Yet as it was, no one, not even other musicians, would begin to recognize Jimi’s special gift until years later.  Though in nearly all other areas of his life he lacked confidence and self-esteem, for this one passion, his music, he seemed to possess the internal locus of control so typical of many gifted individuals. This allowed him to carry on despite the criticism and harsh reactions of those around him.  In all aspects of the concept, he was a “self-made” talent. It is not a surprise, however, that Jimi’s teachers were not armed with the knowledge to properly identify culturally diverse gifted students in the forties and fifties – it is a struggle educating teachers even today. If teachers weren’t even properly equipped to assist Jimi’s development, then how could we expect his parents or other relatives—just struggling to stay alive—to understand the subtleties and special developmental needs of gifted children?  Reva C. Friedman (1994) points out several traits of low-income families which show resiliency despite the stressors which challenge the success of gifted children:  they establish a “supportive climate for development” (Friedman, 1994, p. 326) and are “organized in ways that promote predictability of functioning and reliability” (Snow et al. as cited by Friedman, 1994, p. 326). Yet Jimi had even these two strikes against him! He lived most of his childhood in transitory homes with a father who thought his interest in music was a waste of time, and his family’s few resources were hardly “supportive.”  The most predictable aspect of Jimi’s family life that when somebody drank, somebody would get hit (Cross 2005).

How was it, then, that against so many odds, and with no encouragement whatsoever, Jimi persisted in the development of his special talent?  Evidence suggests that his imaginational OE and vision were strong enough to overcome even these odds.  One surrogate mother who described Jimi as “introverted, downcast…[and] extremely sensitive” tells of an evening when young Jimi uttered an “otherworldy” statement to her whole family. She recalls how he told them all that he was going to become rich and famous, and leave the country and never come back. (Cross, 2004, p. 47). For a poverty-stricken, nearly homeless boy to make such a statement in the early fifties must have seemed incredible, and his announcement was, in fact, met with laughter. It would, however, turn out to be an eerily prophetic statement.

In Dabrowski’s concept of positive disintegration, heredity, environment, and autonomy are the three driving factors that determine how one will overcome the suffering and struggles of life.  In many ways, Jimi did resist and overcome the trappings of his heredity and environment. During his maturation he became fixated on his desire to be a musician, and doing so, he discovered a need to develop personal goals and to acquire the tools to realize them. As was mentioned above, his internal locus of control in this area of his life seemed to indicate the “strong instinct to development that leads to the individual’s higher level of being.”

Yet unfortunately there were many events and circumstances of struggle in Jimi’s childhood that he never was able to positively disintegrate. The authoritarian shadow of his father, for example, seemed to haunt him even after he was a famous rock star. The unresolved theme of his mother’s early death due to alcohol was one that came up again and again both in his music and in personal conversations. The fact that his father had prevented him and his brother from attending their mother’s funeral seemed to only add to the unresolved nature of the experience.

The fact that no mentor appeared in Jimi’s life who understood the special developmental needs that his sensitivity and giftedness demanded is the great tragedy of his story. On stage, he was a genius in complete control and command, displaying a spontaneous virtuosity that was unparalleled. Yet in many ways “the same trait that made him such a talented musician—the ability to be lost in the moment of performance—also caused Jimi to act on his immediate desires of urges, with a recklessness at times” (Cross, 2005, p. 179).  Offstage, the internal locus of control he seemed to possess in relation to his talent seemed less influential, and he was often manipulated by those around him with ulterior motives. Eventually this lack of a compass in his off-stage life led him into the dangerous waters of drugs and groupies, and these would prove to be influences that would lead to his early death.

The great lesson in Jimi’s story for educators is the importance of expanding the net we cast in our search for the gifted, and searching very carefully through what we find. Using the multiple criteria approach outlined by Davis and Rimm (2004) would certainly be a big step forward by overcoming many of the limitations of using standardized tests as the sole identification method.  However, Jimi’s story takes us one realization further—there may be many whom our current system of gifted education simply isn’t ready to support. Until that time, educators need to be vigilant in watching for students who display a special talent, sensitivity, or single-minded passion.  These kids may not find a home in a gifted program, but they do need a special mentor.  They need a guiding hand that can lead them to develop a well-rounded confidence in life, and to develop an internal locus of control to help them navigate their passion to maximum success and fulfillment.

 

References

Cross, C. R. (2005).  Room full of mirrors: A biography of Jimi Hendrix. New York: Hyperion.

Davis, G. A. and Rimm, S. B. (2004).  Education of the gifted and talented (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Friedman, R. C. (1994). Upstream helping for low-income families of gifted students: Challenges and opportunities.  Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 5(4), 321-338.

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Making Use of Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities

by Emily VR

Most gifted kids have them.  They can confuse parents, teachers, and doctors.  They may increase with the level of giftedness.  If you have a gifted student, this long word is probably part of your daily life.

What are the Overexcitabilities (OEs), and what do they look like in children?  More importantly – what should we do about them?

Background

The OEs were identified by Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902-1980), a Polish psychologist and psychiatrist with a Master’s degree in Education.  At the highest of his five levels of human development, individuals choose to work for the benefit of humanity.  According to Dabrowski, inner suffering is necessary for advanced development – and certain people exhibit heightened sensitivities, or Overexcitabilities, which predispose them to this suffering.

Although Dabrowski was interested in gifted development, his theory is not limited to the gifted.  Another psychologist, Michael Piechowski, collaborated with Dabrowski and applied the OEs to the gifted population.  Several psychologists and educators have since added to scholarship on the subject.

The OEs are not a clinical diagnosis – you can’t go to the doctor for a test or OE treatment plan (as much as parents wish they could).  Some psychologists and books do offer inventories for identifying OEs, however, and they can be a helpful framework for understanding and coping with sensitivities common to gifted students.

Spotting the Overexcitabilities

A child may exhibit one, two, or more OEs in varying degrees.  What does this look like?

Psychomotor:  These kids have more energy than others their age!  They seem always “on the go.”  They may fidget, have nervous habits or rapid speech, and/or act impulsively.  They need extra opportunities for movement, and may benefit from relaxation techniques.

Sensual/Sensory:  Sensory input can be overwhelming and distracting for these children.  They may seek or avoid stimuli, and they may have extreme reactions, especially to sound or touch.  On the positive side, they often experience increased aesthetic appreciation (art, poetry, music).

Intellectual:  These children love to experiment!  They seem to have unending curiosity.  They often worry about fairness and injustice, and they learn exhaustively about their passions.  They benefit from the freedom to pursue interests, and from interaction with intellectual peers (not necessarily age peers).

Imaginational:  Especially when young, these children may have imaginary friends or worlds which feel real.  They may embellish without intending to be inaccurate.  They often daydream, and may have difficulty “tuning in” during structured curriculum.  They benefit from opportunities for divergent thinking, creativity, and imagination!

Emotional:   Children with this OE have deep sensitivities, are often acutely aware of their feelings, and may internalize experiences.  Their intense emotions can manifest in extreme and complex ways.  They can seem to overreact, or may hold in school stress until they reach their home or parents’ car.  The impact of emotional experiences (both positive and negative) can last for years.

Putting the OEs to Work!

Other than confirming what we knew about gifted children, what practical uses do the OEs have for parents and teachers?  Here are five ways they can help:

Improved LearningOEs can make it hard for children to learn in the classroom.  When teachers (and students themselves) are aware of causes, they can explore solutions.  For example, children exhibiting the psychomotor OE may need extra movement during the day, and children with the sensory OE may need seating away from sensory distractions, or a calm place to refocus.

Prevention of MisdiagnosisMany OE characteristics look like other conditions (ADHD, autism, SPD, etc.), though it is also possible for a gifted child to have additional diagnoses (twice-exceptional).  Misdiagnosis in gifted children is a concern for a number of psychologists, and the nonprofit SENG (Supporting the Needs of the Gifted) works to raise awareness through the Misdiagnosis Initiative.  For more information on differential diagnosis in the gifted population, see Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults (2005).

Improved Student/Teacher/Parent RelationshipsUnderstanding a student’s behavior can increase empathy and improve communication.  When a child with OEs constantly asks questions or corrects a teacher (intellectual OE), seems to overreact (emotional OE), or seems off task (multiple OEs), adults without an understanding of gifted sensitivities may misinterpret characteristics, and may employ behavior control techniques designed for different causes.  Recommendations for coping with OEs can differ from other types of parenting and teaching wisdom.  If gifted children feel criticized for intensities they cannot change, misunderstandings can harm both self-esteem and relationships.

When student OEs are handled with empathy and compassion, children can learn to better cope, celebrate their sensitivities as strengths, and channel intensities toward positive behaviors.  A number of resources (below) share classroom and parenting coping tips.

Mental Health AssistanceKnowledge about OEs can increase success when counseling gifted children, adolescents, and adults (Daniels & Piechowski, 2009).  Understanding a patient’s inner experience is thought to be important both for differential diagnosis and therapeutic planning.  Children and adolescents with gifted intensities can be at risk for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression; when adults are aware of OEs, they can provide more complete information to counselors or psychologists.

Awareness of a child’s intensity may also help identify early signs that a child needs help coping.  The nonprofit SENG was founded in response to the suicide of a gifted teen.  Gifted intensities can impact children in numerous settings: when gifted children are targeted by bullying, the victimization has a greater negative impact and likelihood of emotional harm (Medaris, 2006). Educational fit can also have an impact on the mental health of gifted children and adolescents (Neihart, 1999).

Gifted Identification:  Many psychologists and educators find that the OEs occur more frequently in gifted children than in the general population, and may increase with the level of giftedness.  Some researchers believe the OEs hold promise for future identification of giftedness, particularly in populations in which giftedness can be difficult to identify through testing.  In the meantime, if teachers are aware of the likelihood of intensity in gifted students, the OEs may be helpful informally in making additional referrals for evaluation for gifted services.

Action Steps

According to psychologists, the OEs cannot be turned off like a light: they affect children throughout the day and across the lifespan, in nearly every area of their lives.  If the OEs occur more frequently and intensely in the gifted – as many psychologists, educators, and parents agree they do – this information seems critical for adults to have.

How can we increase understanding of emotional needs in the gifted?

  • Parent/Advocacy Groups:  Learn about resources available through SENG! Include the OEs in recommended reading for parent and teacher members, and consider inviting speakers to present about the emotional needs of the gifted.
  • Parents:  Take advantage of free parent materials online (such as the vodcast below!).  Connect with local parent groups, and offer your support to schools.
  • Administrators:  Include the OEs in training for the teachers of gifted students, particularly in classrooms where students spend the most time. (Some schools already do this!)
  • Teachers:  For a wide range of classroom tips, consider exploring additional resources on the OEs (below). Information you learn about gifted students will support their healthy emotional development, and can change lives.  Parents will thank you from the bottom of their hearts!

If we learn about the emotional characteristics of these students, we can help students accept the OEs as part of who they are, better manage their feelings, and feel better about themselves.  When children have a chance at better outcomes, our entire society benefits.  After all, if Dabrowski was right, our students with Overexcitabilities have the drive and potential to solve our world’s problems.

What will we do to support them?

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Note:  Several sources provide greater detail on each of the OEs.  For more examples, check out Living with Intensity by Susan Daniels and Michael Piechowski (2009) and the resources below.

More Information:

NuMinds Enrichment offers Professional Development exploring the Overexcitabilities in more depth, classroom coping tips, and other gifted teaching strategies.  For details on NuMinds professional development for teachers, visit http://numien.com/professional-development/

For a free NuMinds vodcast for parents on the Social-Emotional Puzzle and Overexcitabilities, see below:

We are proud this post is part of the Gifted 101 blog hop on Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page!

(Blog Hop graphic by Pamela S Ryan – click below for more Blog Hop posts!)

OEs Blog Hop

 

Sources and Further Reading:

Bouchard, Lorraine L.  An Instrument for the Measure of Dabrowskian Overexcitabilities to Identify Gifted Elementary Students.  Gifted Child Quarterly 48.4 (Fall 2004):  339-350.

Daniels, Susan and Michael M. Piechowski.  Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults.  Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc., 2009.

Lind, Sharon.  Overexcitability and the Gifted.  The SENG Newsletter, 2001, 1(1) 3-6.  SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted).  Web.  Aug. 2015.  < https://sengifted.org/archives/articles/overexcitability-and-the-gifted >

Medaris, Kim.  Study:  Gifted children especially vulnerable to effects of bullying.  Purdue University, April 6, 2006.  Web.  Aug. 2015.  < http://www.purdue.edu/uns/html4ever/2006/060406.Peterson.bullies.html >

Neihart, Maureen. The Impact of Giftedness on Psychological Well-Being. Roeper Review, Sept. 1999 22(1). Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted.  Web.  Aug. 2015.  < http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/the-impact-of-giftedness-on-psychological-well-being >

Renzulli, Joseph S.  Giftedness and High School Dropouts:  Personal, Family, and School-related Factors.  The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, December 2002.  The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.  Web.  Aug 2015.  < http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/reports/rm02168/rm02168.pdf >

Rinn, Anne N.  Overexcitabilities and the Gifted Child.  Digest of Gifted Research, September 24, 2009.  Duke Talent Identification Program.  Web.  Aug. 2015.  < http://tip.duke.edu/node/922 >

SENG Misdiagnosis Initative:  http://sengifted.org/programs/seng-misdiagnosis-initiative

Silverman, Linda Kreger.  Giftedness 101.  New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2013.

Webb, James T., et al. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults.  Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc., 2005.

Many thanks to Pia Ruda for her ideas and review.

Searching for Meaning: A Parent Book Review

by Emily VR

When your kids worry about the meaning of life, what do you do?

We all ask ourselves existential questions at some point.  When those questions come from my kids, sometimes I’m prepared.  Sometimes I’m not.

 “But how do we know for sure that the universe and heaven go on forever?  Everything has an end.”

I try to give reassurance.  We talk about science and faith.  Unfortunately, sometimes, religion and science aren’t enough.  Sometimes, the unknowns can cause sadness: real, palpable, sleepless worry.  A hug and kiss don’t always make things better.

 “Why did kids have to die in the earthquake?”

Some questions don’t have answers.

Thinking back on these conversations, I can see the faces of my sons, vulnerable, waiting.  Their eyes are windows.  At some point, between now and the end of adolescence, I know those windows will develop protective shutters – at least temporarily.  Right now, their private thoughts still come out at bedtime, and those windows are wide open.

 “I don’t understand why we are alive.  I mean, what is the point of the world, and of people existing?”

As a parent, how do you reassure your child, while he or she still looks to you for answers?  Can we help our kids build resilience?

A new book offers support, and it’s become one of my favorites:  Searching for Meaning:51MJ2taSDXL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope, by James Webb.  Dr. Webb is a psychologist and expert on gifted children, and co-founded the nonprofit SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) following the suicide of a gifted youth.  Psychologists find that bright youths ask difficult questions early in their lives, and often struggle with perfectionism and disillusionment. Searching for Meaning isn’t specifically for parents, but it gives reassurance to anyone who can identify with these worries.

The book begins with the roots of idealism – both nature and nurture – and discusses challenges faced by idealists, internal and external.  Webb provides an overview of gifted characteristics, since those individuals are often at higher risk, and he then delves into difficulties faced by idealists.  Depression is discussed in a frank, compassionate manner.  Throughout the book, Webb provides statistics and definitions in addition to the feelings of experiencing these challenges.

Webb also explores existential concerns through multiple lenses.  Existential theories, religious beliefs, and psychological theories are covered, and references are given for research, allowing curious readers to explore further.  In particular, the Theory of Positive Disintegration, by Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski, gives readers encouragement:  according to Dabrowski, grappling with disillusionment is the first step toward heightened development, though questions may continue throughout the life span.

Unhealthy coping mechanisms are covered with compassion and honesty, and Webb provides healthier alternatives.  Readers can discover methods to find happiness and hope:  cultivating positive relationships, evaluating goals and values, becoming involved with causes, spirituality, humor, life scripting, and bibliotherapy, among others.  I found the solutions respectful, and flexible enough to incorporate spiritual beliefs, though no religion is promoted.  The book embraces the unique needs of each reader:  Webb states, “The examples I’ve presented… are only suggestions; each individual must find what works best for him- or herself.”

The overall text seems best suited for adults and older adolescents, but in my family, I found the chapter on “Healthier Coping Styles” perfect for reading with my older son.  In an attempt to answer one of my 9-year-old’s questions, I pulled down this book.  It became a nightly ritual.

 “Mom, can we read more of that book together?  The one about ways to deal with my stress?”

Webb uses the acronym HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) to describe triggers for negativity and stress, and it’s been helpful in our house.  We’ve increased “hug time” (feeling connected), we make conscious efforts to think positively and plan for the future, and we talk about how it’s okay to think and feel the way we do.  We’ve read and re-read passages, and we discuss how we can use them in our lives.

For my part, I realized that one of Webb’s coping strategies is how I best handle stress:  I work with causes to find solutions.  In this, I see myself in my sons:  at ages 4 and 9, in their own ways, I see them driven to right wrongs, to speak up for truth, and to help those who suffer.  Earlier this year, our church devoted several weeks to a similar theme, titled “Follow Your Heartbreak.” Our pastor explained that to find your passion, you can think about what breaks your heart about the world.  This seems to be how our family was meant to live our lives.

Webb’s book gives idealists both encouragement and motivation, and I believe it can help us lead happier lives.  I can’t protect my sons against all doubt and pain, but I’m glad for a resource in letting them know that it’s okay to question.  I want to show them that there is nothing wrong in asking for help, when they suffer.  That they can find peace, especially in pursuing their drive to never, ever stop trying to make the world better.  That as long as I’m alive, I will be here for them, doing the same.

Just like my children, I’ll be searching for meaning, and for hope.

Dr. Webb’s book can be found through Great Potential Press or online booksellers:

http://www.greatpotentialpress.com/searching-for-meaning