(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th US revolution is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, I think the story will be more meaningful by starting at the beginning. Read one or two segments each day and you will catch up quickly.)

Voice: “Jordan, there is a lady here to see you. Says her name is JC and you know her.”

Jordan: “JC, great to see you. An unexpected and pleasant surprise. What brings you to town?”

JC: “Nice to see you, too. Been too long. Lots of conversations but no face-to-face for a while.”

Jordan: “Have a seat. Want some coffee?”

JC: “Yes, please. Black, no sugar.”

Jordan: “Both of us black, no sugar. From your days in NY, right?”

JC: “Yep. By the way, hope it’s OK that I brought my friend. Here boy.”

Jordan: “And who is this distinguished gentleman accompanying you?”

JC: “My new love. Jordan meet Ralph.”

Jordan: “Where did Sir Ralph come from?”

JC: “Zee pound. Ralph was abandoned early on. I decided he needed a home and I needed a companion.”

Jordan: “That’s very nice of you. He looks like a very nice companion.”

JC: “He is. But like all men he needed some training.”

Jordan: “Need I be reminded? You know I am a pound dog, too.”

JC: “I know but we’re not going to talk about that. I have something else I want to talk about for a minute.”

Jordan:  “You talk only for a minute? Since when?”

JC: “Cut it Jordan, I need to talk.”

Jordan: “OK. What is it?”

JC: “Not sure if you heard with the revolution and all the chaos going on but my sister died. Painful. And now I am the only one left. No more family and only a few people I really know – like you.”

JC: “I had not heard about your sister and I am very sorry. How can I help?”

JC: “First, just listen and then tell me what it is like to be alone with no family. I’ve known you were a pound dog since grammar school. But no one really talked about it since I’m not sure it mattered much to anyone.”

Jordan: “Your question about being alone is an interesting one. I’ve never been anything but a pound dog…like your pal Ralph. No known family, no records, no history. All that information is sealed someplace.”

JC: “Can’t you get at the information?”

Jordan: “I don’t even know where to begin looking. Besides what does it matter at this point, other than it would be nice to have some medical history.”

JC: “Go back to being without your family. How do you manage?”

Jordan: “You make up family, friends mostly. I am not the first pound dog and certainly not the last. And you are not the first person to be left with no relatives.”

JC: “I know but I feel so empty.”

Jordan: “And you always will feel empty. Hard for people with relatives to understand the feeling. They might not like their relatives but at least they have them. We do not.”

JC: “But you had a pound-dog brother. What about him?”

Jordan: “I don’t know how he feels. We’ve never talked about it. To me he was a person in the same household I grew up with. But a blood relative, no.”

JC: “Are we becoming melodramatic?”

Jordan: “I don’t know. It’s a tough conversation to have, at least for me.”

JC: “At least I am not alone feeling empty. Empty because my sister died and empty because no one else on my side is left.”

Jordan: “You are not alone feeling empty. Frankly, I don’t have any advice on what to do about it?”

JC: “About what?”

Jordan: “The loneliness. We all get lonely at times. This is just a different kind of loneliness but unfortunately it is permanent.”

JC: “Listen to us. You’d think we were on some talk show spilling our guts about some irrational behavior.”

Jordan: “Well, maybe we are. But fortunately Sir Ralph is the host and he’s not going to say much to anyone else.”

JC: “Good boy, Ralph. But really, I guess all we can do is live with what we have. Whining and moaning won’t change any facts.

Jordan: “And whining and moaning won’t make anything better. That’s up to us. JC, welcome to the pound-dog club.”

JC: “Thanks but I’d rather not be a member.”

Jordan: “We are members and I think we can use that membership to solve a real problem.”

JC: “What’s the problem?”

Jordan: “How do we manage all the kids left homeless or parentless in this revolution? We had a bunch before, now the problem is much worse.”

JC: “When you say manage are you talking about feeding, housing and educating these kids? It is a big problem and even bigger challenge to solve. Any ideas?”

Jordan: “We are not the first country to have the problem. How have other countries solved it?”

JC: “I like the way you answered my question with a question. Were you ever a consultant? Anyway, a tried-and-true model to address the problem – although the model seems somewhat archaic – is a group home..an orphanage. I’d rather think of it as a boarding school.”

Jordan: “Such a home could work for say ages 10-12 and above but what about those who are younger?”

JC: “You might have to include kids as young as six. Kids start elementary school at age six and most have been to kindergarten. So the issue is managing the kids before and after school.”

Jordan: “Sounds almost cruel but I am not sure there is another solution.”

JC: “Not as cruel as you might think…or at least not outside the norm of today’s households. Most parents work and have someone else manage the children after school, even if the kids are at home. The key to an effective home for these kids will be getting the right people involved. But I don’t think there is a realistic alternative.”

Jordan: “We need someone to lead this effort who…”

JC: “No, Jordan, I am not interested. And I’m not good at that management stuff.”

Jordan: “JC, do me a favor. We’ll find someone who is a manager and who can handle the day-to-day issues. But we also need someone to outline what this program should look like, what the kids should learn, etc.”

JC: “OK, I can handle the ideas part but promise me you will find a manager. And give me a few days to put my thoughts together.”

Jordan: “Thanks. I’ll buy you custard if we ever get back there.”

JC: “Great. I’m the only person who grew up in that town that didn’t like custard. See you in a few days.”

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