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CYC-Online 136 JUNE 2010 / BACK
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Relational rambling

Karl Gompf

The highest spiritual gift you can give another is silence ““
” Maryellen Baker Ni O Gishic G00 Ikwe

There is much to say about the meaning of the word “relational.” A curious word “
But my friend died today.

It must mean “being in relationship.” Or does it just mean relating only to people? Or does it mean one thing to me, but different things to others? Does it mean “?
But my friend died today.

Relational child and youth care? More curiosity. Is there non-relational child and youth care? We drove the fifty miles in silence. The young girl was suffering after hearing painful news about her family. Her dreams of returning home were shattered. l clutched the wheel, feeling her pain, not knowing what words might offer some comfort. And then, out of the quiet, she sang.

Y0u are my sunshine, my 0nly sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are grey. “

We sang together and the fifty miles flew by. Back at the care home she whispered, thank you.” Relational child and youth care? Is silence relational?
But my friend died today.

Still more curiosity. Does “relational” mean that we relate well in all aspects of our being? What if we are able to establish seemingly excellent relationships with children and youth, but not with our own families? What if we are “good with people” but careless and nonchalant in our relationship to the environment and our community? What if we are able to relate to animals, but not to people?

The keynote speaker was fabulous. He spoke lovingly about children and shared his deep compassion and wisdom about how to help those less fortunate. A standing ovation was in order “applause mingled with tears. The next day he returned to his home and beat his wife and children. Relational?
But my friend died today.

Change? Can there be relational child and youth care without change?

I wanted to thank and congratulate those who faithfully produce this journal and even had the courage to change the name and the focus. I Wanted to say that it is still the best journal around. (Three hours disappeared recently, consumed by the reading and re-reading of wonderful articles published on a multitude of child and youth care topics.) I wanted to say much more about change.
But my friend died today.

Relational “surely it implies constancy, continuity, commitment. I’m glad you came today,” he said, You are my best friend.” It had been months since the cancer set in and weeks since I’d last seen him. The relationship was void of obligation, no “should,” no guilt. It just Was. The gift of silence followed. No plan to return “just maybe.
And my friend died today.

This feature: Gompf, K. (2003). Relational rambling. Relational Child and Youth Care Practice, 16, 1. p. 102.


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