DR. WALLACE: I'm a 14-year-old boy, and sometimes my grandmother gets very angry with me and says, "Sometimes, I think that you will never become a mature young man." She often talks to me about how young men "in her day" were very mature at a young age.
I don't want to ask her what she means! Why? Because I can tell she is not happy with me and thinks I'm immature in some way. I'm afraid if I ask her for specifics that she will launch into a lecture that I could do without. Please tell me what your definition of a "mature young man" is. — Young Man Seeking Maturity, via email
YOUNG MAN SEEKING MATURITY: A mature young man thinks before he acts, knows how to make good decisions, assumes responsibilities, solves his own problems, accepts help when needed, avoids troublesome peers and makes realistic plans for the future.
A mature young man is a team player and is both willing and able to consider the feelings of others and act accordingly.
If you don't think you meet at least the majority of these qualifications, you're likely not acting as mature as you could be with some careful introspection. So, now you have a roadmap to know what to look for and what to consider. Use this time we are all in our homes to start working on it gradually.
I will add this: You are already off to a good start by showing the maturity to write to this column seeking suggestions and answers on this topic. I trust that with a little proactive study and some practice in putting these concepts to work, you'll soon become a mature young man.
SEEKING WAYS TO HELP OUT
DR. WALLACE: I'm an 18-year-old guy who will graduate high school this June, and I would like to do something to help my fellow citizens during this time of our worldwide crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus. I'm one of the lucky ones who actually contracted this virus a month ago and have recovered fully. Our family doctor got me tested and also guided me through my quarantine and recovery; she's a great medical professional. Fortunately, I stayed in my room and none of my family members caught the virus from me.
So, now I see some of my classmates are delivering groceries to elderly neighbors nearby, but it seems everyone has that covered in our area by now.
Is there anything else I could consider at this time that would be helpful to society and those especially in my area of the country? — Looking for a Way to Help, via email
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO HELP: I do have an idea for you. The American Red Cross has a new COVID-19 plasma donation program. This particular program has some specific requirements, and you may well be a person who qualifies to help in this way. Here are the basic requirements:
No. 1: The donor must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.
No. 2: The donor must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 and meet specific laboratory criteria.
No. 3: The donor must be symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to making a donation — with a follow-up lab test.
If you meet these requirements, contact your local American Red Cross soon, as this program is now up and running. It has been designed to provide plasma to treat patients seriously ill with COVID-19. This plasma is also called convalescent plasma. Plasma from people who have recovered contains antibodies that attack the virus and is being evaluated as a treatment for coronavirus patients.
Take note that if you plan to potentially donate convalescent plasma, you will not be using the regular scheduling tool on the Red Cross' website or mobile app. Go to their website, and seek out the specific form for this program so you can be contacted for special scheduling.
If you qualify and are willing and able to help your community in this way, I trust you will find this a rewarding experience.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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