Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Capable People in Action

by Bruce Colston

The following is from Dr. Bruce Colston, a master trainer who operates a private consulting and training business in Bloomington, In.

When asked to write a story for this column I was amazed by the number of memories that were stirred in my mind-the first time I used EIAG with my daughter Mackenzie after she had pulled our dog's tail and was rewarded with a bite in the hand, boating down the Kentucky River with the Woodford county Teacher's Academy during our leadership retreat at Shakertown, the overt recognition of the spiritual nature of DCP at the leadership training for the Christian Appalachian Project, or most recently the excitement of conducting a 3-day leadership training in Bloomington, IN without the training materials arriving until the second day. I EIAG-ed myself on that one! Still from the welter of experiences I have had with DCP since 1990, the year I received my leadership training, I have selected one that is special because it was the first one to personally show me the power of the program to change people's lives.
The second 9-session course I had the pleasure to lead was offered through the Community Education Program of a local school system near where I worked in Kentucky. A person in the course (I will call her Mary) had signed up out of a sense of desperation. The first night she shared with the group why she was there. She had been through every "parenting program" in central Kentucky as recommended by a Lexington-based social service agency... at least ten by her account. She was a single parent with children in drug treatment and was struggling just to keep her head above water. She said she was there to find something that might be helpful. After this no more parenting courses!

As the course proceed the group members were increasingly supportive and encouraging. One night Mary tearfully shared how she was beginning to re-think her priorities and her enabling behavior towards her children. Well the course ended and I wondered how things turned out for her. About six months later I found out!

I was walking to the post office one morning when a car passed me heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly, it made a U-turn and almost ran up over the curb as it pulled up to where I was walking. Given the apate of drive-by shootings at the time I did not know whether to jump in the bushes for cover of see who was driving. Curiosity got the best of me, so I approached the car and there was Mary. She was so anxious to tell me about her new life. She had enrolled in college and was full of excitement about her possibilities. She told me she had gone back to the social service agency and told them that she had learned more in DCP than all ten of the other courses combined. She had wanted to thank me personally. I am glad she did. Needless to say I was moved by her story. It is not the only such story I could tell, bu it was the first one and will always stick with me.

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