From self-isolating to inter connection

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From self-isolating to inter connection

The greatest thing to teach a bully to help them recover and come back to their true self and be authentically forgiving and loving and kind and compassionate again, which is basically what they truly, truly want - they want to come back to true self - is to teach them compassion. One of the great things I do is I take the kids to play basketball with the developmentally delayed seniors. And I teach them to go to hospice with me and to sing, even if we sing bad. And I teach them to go to feed people who are starving and hungry. And you take them to that connected place where you see. And then you tell them that the reason you see this person is isolated and angry and marginalized is because they started early pushing everybody away, and self-isolating. And when you begin to self-isolate, that's the beginning of that journey of aggression and violence and hurt that you think nobody could understand your pain. The great gift is when you teach them the whole interconnected portion of it. I remember I took a kid, it was so great to a hospice. And he sat down with one of the angriest guys at hospice. And in no time flat, they were both crying. Because the older man dying was seeing what he had been as a younger man in the journey. And he was wise enough in the description of Charles Dickens in Scrooge, he was a clutching, grasping, wheezing skinflint, but he was as solitary as an oyster in his pain. That solitary oystered pain is what causes that aggression. you forget that anybody cares about you, and this is why he became such a cynic and a vicious elderly man who walked through causing toxic anger and rage wherever he could. And when that happened with the little boy, we got out to the car, and I said what did you learn? And he said, I don't want to be him. I said, I know. But Robert how do we not be him? He goes, we choose better. We choose you. I go, what? He goes we choose you, what you do. Okay, good.

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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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