Category Archives: books

It seems I may have more time on my hands again…

As I can’t drive once again; so I figure I might as well write a few posts. For the curious few, I obviously haven’t been writing much but I have been reading quite a bit over the past few months … and I thought I had my account configured to post recently read books on here, but it appears not. If you want to see my book list, feel free to check out my GoodReads account. Mostly I’ve been reading a whole lot of sci-fi, but since my daughter was given a Kindle for Christmas and there’s a whole lot of classic books you can download for free, I’ve been reading a lot of older stuff too. Either which way, it seems now I’ve got quite some free time to read since I can’t drive anywhere!

maps, continued (and opened up!)

A handful of pages further down in “The Road Less Traveled”, and still under the technique of dedication to reality is the concept of being ‘open to challenge’:

A life of total dedication to the truth also means a life of willingness to be personally challenged. The only way that we can be certain that our map of reality is valid is to expose it to the criticism and challenge of other map-makers.

I had a hard time not reading this and thinking of the whole ‘growth group’ / ‘G Men’ weekly get-togethers (and more) that has been going on for (I think) more than three years. I’m well aware that even with close friends, an openness is by no means easy or even desired. It seems by far more desired by most people to have surface relationships as in we don’t want to have to deal with being challenged.

Ironically though, it seems I’ve met quite a few people that really do want to talk, at length I might add, over some really hard struggles they are going through. Many a time I’ve heard the statement that “I don’t feel like anyone is willing to listen”, except it seems me. Please do not interpret this as attempting to puff myself up and have pride in this; at times I find this challenging as several of these people want me to call them, when I simply barely am able to find the time each day, especially for my family. Additionally, I find this hard since I myself struggle to communicate (in particular with those close to me) because I frequently find myself in a position of listening and less sharing…

maps

When I was a kid I was quite into nature, especially in exploring “the woods” behind our neighborhood. It seemed all the kids in our neighborhood (and at least one nearby neighborhood) knew about “the woods”, because the pathways back there were pretty well worn and there was a treehouse that was built at least a few years before I found out about it. “The woods” was actually 10 or so acres owned by some guy where he kept his horses, but to us kids boy was it memorable. We’d build dams on the stream, swing on vines over the stream, pet the horses, build onto the treehouse… my brother and I even made a handful of “action movies” back there.

old picture of the field in "the woods"

old picture of the field in "the woods"

Continue reading

Well, it seems the tide has turned again and I desire to blog, doesn’t it?

I find myself with a little under an hour of free time this morning, and as I’m starting a new book “The Road Less Traveled”, I figured I’d post a few notes so far.

Chapter 1 – Discipline

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if lief should be easy. Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them?

Disciple is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems.

[The] techniques of suffering, [the] means of experiencing the pain of problems constructively that I call discipline [are]:

  1. delaying of gratification – scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with
  2. acceptance of responsibility
  3. dedication to truth
  4. balancing

bearing the cross

From the epilogue of “Bearing the Cross” by David J. Garrow:

“By idolizing those whom we honor, ” writes black educator Charles Willie, one of King’s Morehouse classmates, “we do a disservice both to them and to ourselves. By exalting the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr., into a legendary tale that is annually told, we fail to recognize his humanity – his personal and public struggles – that are similar to yours and mine. By idolizing those whom we honor, we fail to realize that we could go and do likewise.”

Christine Farris, Martin Luther King Jr’s sister says she wants to “help to demythologize one of our heroes.” “My brother”, she emphasizes, “was no saint,” but “an average and ordinary man.” Indeed, many of King’s colleagues worry, as Vincent Harding puts it, that people today are turning King into a “rather smoothed off, respectable national hero” whose comfortable, present-day image bears little resemblance to the human King or to the political King of 1965-1968.

Ella Baker aptly articulates the most crucial point, the central fact of his life which Martin King realized from December 5 in Montgomery until April 4 in Memphis: “The movement made Martin rather than Martin making the movement.” As Diane Nash says, “If people think that it was Martin Luther King’s movement, then today they – young people – are more likely to say, ‘gosh, I wish we had a Martin Luther King here today to lead us.’ … If people knew how that movement started, then the question they would ask themselves is, “What can I do?”

I could write quite a bit about vast swaths of content that I hadn’t the faintest clue about that involved Martin, but when I got the epilogue, it just so completely resonated with me I felt like solely focusing on that. I highly recommend the book too.