Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

History continues to go through a cycle.  Every 100 years (give or take 20) our society tends to make it through four different "seasons".
Season 1:  The Founding
Season 2:  The Awakening
Season 3:  The Unraveling
Season 4:  The Crisis
(For more information on this subject read The Fourth Turning by Strauss and Howe.  They researched over 3,000 years of history and found this cycle to be consistent)

Guess where we are?!  That's right.  Smack dab in the middle of Crisis.  It began with 9/11 and continues with the current decline in our economy,  We are facing some tough times ahead.  Duh!  Right?  We've all figured that out by now (I think).  But, have you figured out how to survive in our current season of Crisis?  Or how we can make the upcoming season of Founding a successful one?  If your answer is no (and even if your answer is yes)  you need to read this book.  Especially if you are a teenager or the parent of one.

Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens outlines what our youth need to do to prepare for and survive through the Crisis and Founding seasons of our country.  And the advice is great for adults as well who are NOT narrow-minded and set in their ways.  Having lived in a time of Awakening and Unraveling most adults have the wrong philosophy for how to survive in current times.  This book can help you break down your paradigms and actually help you and your teen thrive in these difficult seasons.

Get it here

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pushing to the Front

This book, by far, is the one that has impacted me the most.  Though Marden's writing is choppy to me at times and, therefore, hard to follow it contains so many nuggets of wisdom that I would recommend this book to every adult.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities.  Seize common occasions and make them great."  These words were speaking directly to me.  I am very good at waiting for the extraordinary opportunities.  For example, having fun.  I wait for vacation to really play with and enjoy my children; a girls-weekend out to relax and let my hair down; the ability to afford college to get my education, when the truth is I can seize common occasions and make them great.  I can put down the dish rag and seize a few minutes to really play with my children.  I can spend 5 minutes laughing with a friend on the phone or create a spontaneous "play date."  I can read a book today, right now, and learn instead of waiting, waiting, waiting. 

(chapter 3)"Many a father's son," says Thurlow Weed, " has found the best opportunities for mental improvement in his intervals of leisure while tending 'sap bush'."  Who am I to complain of not having any time to study?  These "farmer's boys" kept a book in their back pocket and read any chance they got.  I can do the same.  I can listen to audio books while I'm doing my mundane chores like folding laundry or driving to the store.  I can keep a book in my purse always so that I can seize an opportunity to read while waiting in line or waiting for Karate to get over, or whenever I am just waiting, waiting, waiting. 

(chapter 3) I love the story of William Lloyd Garrison.  "In the first issue of his paper, Garrison urged an immediate emancipation, and called down upon his head the wrath of the entire community.  He was arrested and sent to jail."  After spending 49 days there did he relinquish his plan of securing freedom for slaves? No! "In Boston, with no money, friends, or influence, in a little upstairs room, Garrison started the 'liberator' "  And he included this declaration in the very first issue:
                     "I will be as harsh as truth, as uncompromising as justice.  I am in earnest.  I
                     will not equivocate.  I will not excuse;  I will not retreat a single inch, and I will
                     be heard." 

(chapter 8) "Great advantages bring great responsibilities.  You cannot divorce them."  It seems today that our society tries to avoid responsibilities or at least does not take them very seriously.  Children are neglected.  Civic duty isn't even thought about.  Paying one's debts is no longer a matter of honor - "we'll just file bankruptcy."  Am I to behave in a similar manner?  I have been blessed with so many great advantages: the gospel, good parents, a wonderful husband, healthy children, food, knowledge, etc."  I have a responsibility to take care of my blessings and to pass on what I can to others.  I can choose to do nothing, but I still cannot divorce my responsibilities.  I will be held accountable for them one day.