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Benedict Joseph Labre lived in pre-revolution France, struggled with mental illness virtually his entire life, failed each of the eleven times he tried to enter religious life, lost touch with his family, lived as a homeless person for his adult years, survived on what he could collect as a beggar, and died of malnutrition at 35 years-old. 

Heroes You Should Know

The Four Chaplains of the Dorchester  

Father to the Forgotten

Janusz Korczak  Janusz Korczak was a Polish educator, children's author, and pediatrician.  He also served as an expert witness in courts of law, and an advocate for children’s rights. 

Heroes you should know: Iqbal Masih

Heroes you should know:  Iqbal Masih
 
“I would like to do what Abraham Lincoln did… I would like to do it in Pakistan."
-Iqbal Masih
 
Iqbal Masih (b. 1983 - April 16, 1995) was a Pakistani boy cast into bondage at age four because of his family’s inability to repay a debt, but through extraordinary courage and perseverance became an international symbol for the dignity of children and a martyr for justice---all by the tender age of twelve.

It’s not JUST about you!

"We live our lives like chips in a kaleidoscope, always parts of patterns that are larger than ourselves and somehow more than the sum of their parts."  -Salvador Minuchin
 
 Here’s a commencement address I’d love to hear spoken gently, lovingly, and with real conviction to all graduates, at all graduations around the world:   at high schools, colleges, and graduate schools: 
 

First things first: The virtue of prudence

Genius always gives its best at first; prudence, at last. -Seneca
 

How We Heal

How We Heal
 
 
Growing up, my mother would often say to me, typically on a Friday or Saturday night as I prepared to go out with my friends, “Remember, your life might be the only Bible somebody reads.”
 
This, by the way, was the Southern Baptist version of St. Francis’ encouragement to “Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words.”
 

Confronting Bigotry: Lessons from a Houston Restaurant

A Houston waiter is being hailed as an everyday hero after he refused to serve a customer.  "Special needs children should be special somewhere else."  This was the ugly sentiment uttered as a man and his party moved tables at a restaurant after apparently being offended by the presence of a 5 year-old child with Down syndrome.  The waiter heard this, and then announced to the bigot, "I cannot serve you."  The man and his group quickly left. 

Heroes you should know: Jean Vanier

 “Individualistic material progress and the desire to gain prestige by coming out on top have taken over from the sense of fellowship, compassion and community. Now people live more or less on their own in a small house, jealously guarding their goods and planning to acquire more, with a notice on the gate that says, 'Beware of the Dog.”  -Jean Vanier 

Heroes you should know: Rachel Carson

 “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”  -Rachel Carson Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, an acclaimed non-fiction author, and a conservationist who is considered by many to be the inspiration of the modern environmental movement. 

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