Stop me if you’ve heard this one:
An attorney, driving home after a long day before the court, is compelled to pull his large SUV over to the side of the rode when, to his shock, he sees two men picking and eating grass from the overgrown shoulder. More than a little bit interested, the attorney asked the first of the two men what they were doing. “I am very poor and cannot afford food to eat and so I am forced to eat grass,” he replied. “Well, get into my SUV,” the attorney said. “I will take you to my house and feed you. And you, too,” he gestured to the second man.
The second man spoke up, “We both have wives and family. They are sitting in the shade of that tree. Can we bring them, too?” he asked. The attorney just smiled and said, “Of course they can come.” The large SUV was filled with the smiling faces of the hungry families as they set off for the large home of the attorney. Their imaginations were running wild at the feast that was about to be presented to them.
As they rounded the corner, before them was a palatial estate behind a high walled gate. As they entered onto the grounds, the attorney turned to the expectant families and gestured magnanimously. “My yard has been overgrown for a week now. You all should be able to eat for days!”
The punchline to this joke is then revealed to the reader: C’mon, you didn’t really think there was such a thing as a heart-warming lawyer story, did you?
One of the Good Ones
While lawyers often get a bad rap, many actually are invested in their communities and in causes that they find personally important. Today, I wanted to highlight one South Texas attorney whose work with a child welfare and education advocacy group exemplifies the heart and passion of lawyers working for a better day for the disadvantaged of society.
Eric Wilson, partner with Wilson Brown PLLC in San Antonio is a board member of a local research and advocacy organization called Voices for Children – San Antonio. The aim of this group is to speak up for the most disadvantaged young citizens of the region by conducting research, gathering data, and presenting their findings to private and governmental entities whose actions most affect the welfare and well-being of area children.
Voices for Children – San Antonio believes their work directly affects the lives of children today, and prepares them for a future that doesn’t include the pitfalls experienced by so many that, today, are allowed to slip through the cracks of our society. By focusing on the well-being of the young child, Voices for Children – San Antonio believes they will break the Cradle to Prison Pipeline, fostering a generation of better educated, well adjusted, hard working, and productive citizens.
Aside from collecting and presenting actionable data, Voices for Children – San Antonio also holds multiple training and recognition events for those whose day-to-day work touches the lives of the region’s children. One such event, the Congress on Children, marks it’s 17th anniversary later next month. This year’s Congress on Children, which organizers have entitled “The Ripples of Prevention“, features Internationally renowned behavioral scientist Anthony Biglan, PhD as the keynote speaker for the event. His new book, The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives & Our World, details how top behavioral scientists have shown that families, schools, and communities that are more nurturing during child development aid significantly in preventing psychological and behavioral problems that are costly to the family and society, at large.
“The Congress on Children is an excellent opportunity for local educators, social workers, mental health practitioners, and leaders in government to begin the hard but necessary work of breaking the cycle of poverty, crime, and deleterious mental health issues faced by children in and around San Antonio,” explained Eric Wilson. “We are fortunate enough to be able to welcome Dr. Biglan to this year’s event. I am confident that those in attendance will walk away with a clearer understanding of how their individual efforts can lead to improving the lives of the children and families with whom they interact.”
The 17th Congress on Children will be held on Friday, September 25 at the Whitley Theological Center. Individual and Table Tickets are available for purchase and include breakfast, lunch, and refreshments provided by HEB Central Market and Starbucks. CEUs are available to attendees who inquire about them during the registration process.