A mother says, “Alice I need you to take out the garbage.”
Alice rolls her eyes and walks away. She has obviously made up her mind not to follow the instruction.
Mother feels Alice needs some correction so she says, “Don’t you look at me like that! Your behavior is disrespectful! Get back here and take out this trash or you will not get to play with friends today.”
I could discuss the flaws in this interaction at length, but for this article I want to bring your attention to one part of the interaction; Continue reading
“Mom, I’m going to go to Zack’s to play basketball. Is that okay?” Quinton, age fifteen, announced this morning.
I replied, “Quin, you have things to do here at home today, so I don’t think we will have time for friends until another day.”
Quin really wanted to go shoot hoops with his friend. What fifteen year old boy doesn’t? His mouth closed, his cheek muscles tightened, and his eyes narrowed. Then something miraculous happened. Continue reading
We live in very difficult times. Many people worry about what is on the horizon, and what future adversities will come.
No need to worry. Adversity shouldn’t be feared. It should be accepted and embraced.
In the book Character, by Samuel Smiles, it says: “In fine, stability of institutions depend upon stability of character…The people may seem to be highly civilized, and yet be ready to fall to pieces at the first touch of adversity. Without integrity of individual character, they can have no real strength, cohesion, or soundness. They may be rich, polite, and artistic and yet hovering on the brink of ruin. If living for themselves only, and with no end but pleasure – each little self his own little God – such a nation is doomed, and its decay is inevitable.”
So, how do we train ourselves to be ready for adversity? How do we develop this kind of character and instill this much character in the hearts of our children? Continue reading
No speech has ever stirred the American people so much as Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” speech. No matter if I see a professional orator perform it with eloquence, or a young child reciting that speech, it touches my heart with goodness and purpose. The United States of America was built upon these two feelings and Patrick Henry’s speech.
Henry’s cry for liberty started a world wide movement toward governmental freedom, spiritual freedom, and personal freedom.
Liber, Liberty, and Freedom
What is liberty? Years ago I attended a seminar called “The Liber” by a professor named Dr. Shannon Brookes. Dr. Brookes explained that before books and parchment, there was tree bark. Only a few people in each community could read or write the tree bark documents they had. At the time tree bark was the most logical, and simple method of communicating for business, politics, and religion with other communities of people. The word for tree bark is liber, and the people who were privileged enough to learn how to read it, write on it and speak what it said to the community were called “Liber” as well. Continue reading
I remember when I was very small—maybe four or five, sitting on a cushioned chapel bench and staring up into Mama’s face during the Sacrament prayer. Her face looked very serious, and her lips moved in sync with the words the priest spoke. Always. I asked her why she did that. She told me it helped her think about the words that were being spoken. As she sat with her head bowed and eyes closed throughout the passing of the bread and water, I thought about the words she had spoken.