I hate my life…
“That’s what your son just said,” my wife told me last night.
“He said what?”
I asked in surprise.
Immediately I marched back to his room to see what was going on.
Turns out – my 8 year old was a little frustrated about something that had happened, and had blurted out the sentence my wife had overheard.
As he laid there in bed, a thought came to me from earlier that day.
“Don’t TELL them what do do, tell them a STORY that tells them.”
“Kayden, have you heard the story of the little boy that had magical powers?” I asked.
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Braydon Raul Dutchings.
He went to sleep one night, saying to himself –
“My life stinks!”
Early the next morning we awoke in a bit of a panic because he was having trouble sleeping.
Imagine his surprise when he realized that he was laying a HUGE pile of horse poop.
He pushed his way to the top of the pile and finally broke through to where he could see.
Floating above his head was a magical fairy.
He said ‘Please – get me out of here’.
Braydon, said the fairy, don’t you know that you have special magical powers?
What are you talking about he asked.
She floated in close – and whispered in his ear…
“Words create worlds.”
The sentence struck a chord in Braydon’s mind and he immediately said..
“I LOVE my life!”
The poop disappeared instantly.
Braydon continued on.
“I LOVE my brothers”
To his surprise, his 3 brothers that had, seemingly, been a nuisance to him up to this point –
…began to warmly express their love and appreciation for Braydon.
Braydon couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I love my family!” he shouted.
All of a sudden – being with his family was a joy.
They laughed, told stories, hugged and had the best time together.
At this point in the story..
Kayden – My 8 year old said – “Ok dad, I get it.”
“But do I really have magical powers?’
“Kayden,” – i said, “do you know what it says in the Bible?”
“It says that … in the beginning was the word.”
Seems like maybe,
words DO create worlds.
Why I Had This Special Interaction With My Son
This was an awesome experience for a dad to have with his son don’t you think?
The tragedy is – I would not have had it – were it not for another experience earlier that day.
On a private mastermind the other day, we were about to begin Law Of Success chapter 2 – which is on Definite Chief Aim.
Feeling the need to remind everyone on the call to be humble – including myself – I proceeded do to that as we opened the call.
Then, Dr. Napoleon Hill, proceeded to tell stories that, in effect, told us to be humble.
Later that morning – I was reflecting to myself – and I said “Don’t TELL them, tell them STORIES that tell them.”
Because I had come to that new insight – after some reading and reflection – I was then armed when I needed to tell my 8 year old something important, in the best way possible.
Something Is Very Wrong
Do you have the sense that something is very wrong in America today?
I’m usually the guy who NEVER points out what’s bad, negative or not right,
…so please forgive me in this blog post as I depart from that modus operandi for a few minutes.
I don’t think I’m the only one who senses that there’s something wrong in America today.
Freedoms have been, are being and probably will continue to be sucked away from us by an increasingly tyrannical government.
People run around arguing about Republican versus Democrat and all the while – we’re getting fleeced by both parties.
The national debt has snowballed exponentially out of control – and our children, along with our children’s children,
Potentially for generations to come…
Are already signed up and committed toTaxes to pay for debts – on monies that were spent decades before their birth.
I remember a few years ago when I started to do my own research on politics and government .
I was shocked and appalled at what I discovered.
I couldn’t believe what I found.
People needed to know this.
They need to know about the corruption and the greed, the dishonesty and the downright ANTI-everything american stuff that was happening in Washington.
I launched my own little mini crusade.
I put up websites explaining what I found.
I told all my friends and family.
I messaged all my contacts on Facebook.
I emailed every contact I had in my email history.
People needed to be warned and made aware of the theft of freedom that was happening right before our very eyes.
My Next Shocking Discovery
No body cared.
No matter how hard I pushed, no matter how loud I screamed – no matter how convincing the video or the article…
NO BODY SEEMED To care
Then the depression set in.
I wanted to be a good American.
I wanted to defend what our founding fathers had fought so hard to give us.
But I was at a loss.
It felt like I was fighting a losing battle.
So – I made a new decision – to focus on what I could control.
I launched my own freedom crusade in the home business profession.
I figured – if I could focus on generating wealth and freedom – than maybe, just maybe – one day – myself and others could be in position of influence that might actually be able to make a difference.
Little did I know that 10 years later – I was going to come full circle – and discover that the freedom crusade in my current company –
…was going to play more of a role than I ever could have initially imagined.
What Is Wrong In America Today?
This morning I was reading from a book called “How To Read A Book” by a man named Mortimer Adler.
This is a book that Jim Rohn recommended I read years ago.
I read it before – and got some out of it.
I’m reading it again now, and getting a LOT more out of it.
Mortimer was the chief editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
He was a high school and college professor.
He has connections and ties with all of the Major Ivy League schools & other colleges & universities across the nation.
In the first part of the book – he teaches about the different goals of reading.
Entertainment, information and a 3rd – Understanding or ENLIGHTENMENT.
Hold on there!
Now that’s what I’m talking about .
How do I get some of that!?
Well that’s what this book is designed to teach – so obviously I’m very excited about it and recommend you pick it up too.
But that’s not the point of this blog post.
The point of this blog post is to uncover the PROBLEM of what is really WRONG in America today.
Mr. Adler has an entire chapter in this book called…
The Defeat Of Our Schools
He lays out a VERY convincing argument that our schools have done a great job of producing students who know how to read & learn for facts & information…
… Students who can memorize and repeat. (kinda like a parrot)
But have absolutely FAILED at producing students who know how to learn for life.
Producing students that know how read, listen and learn for ENLIGHTENMENT.
Students who know how to think.
He calls the Failure of the the american system of education a “Deplorable Failure”.
The tests, for the most part, do not even test for understanding – it’s all about reciting facts.
As a result – people graduate from college – “Never having learned to read understandingly.”
He says that most people graduate from school and “…feel that they are completely educated, and that reading was therefore unnecessary.”
He talks about the Three R’s that should be taught in school.
Reading, Writing and Reckoning.
Reckoning meaning – the actual THOUGHT that’s put into play after reading has been done.
People these days surely don’t know how to reckon (think) very well.
Have you ever gotten into a conversation with someone about politics or the current state of things – only to discover that every line…
every sentence from the mouth,
was nothing more than a regurgitation of something seen or heard in the evening report of CNN or Fox news?
Well – if you have, we now know the cause.
People are being taught – from childhood – to hear and repeat.
Where’s the thinking?
Where is the search for original thought – the assimilation of the great ideas – that come from the great books – (that of course, Mortimer points out – NO ONE READS anymore)
Speaking of the great books, I myself stand convicted as I update this post years after writing in and on my 3rd read of Mr. Adler’s book.
When it comes to the subject of politics, how many of us are willing to pour out our views that stand ready on the tip of our tongues, bayonet in hand and charged for battle…
While at the same time unable to also affirm that our ideas have been tested, reasoned, challenged and refined via the reading of some of History’s greatest book on political philosophy the likes of which many of the founding fathers were well versed?
Maybe Benjamin Franklin was right.
Perhaps the beginning of wisdom truly is a just appraisal of one’s ignorance.
Yeah – so what right?
Paul, why this rant?
What’s your point.
Back to freedom.
I like to call myself a freedom crusader.
Something inside me says – Paul, people are meant to be free.
Freedom is a precious gift that maybe, should be valued above nearly all others.
Freedom of choice.
The ability to choose, thoughts and actions.
Well here’s the connection –
and here’s why what Mortimer’s talking about matters SO DANG MUCH!
There is an inseparable connection between FREEDOM and REAL EDUCATION.
Here’s what Mr. Adler says..
…The techniques which make literacy, are our first obligation, and more so important in a democracy than in any other kind of society, because it depends on a literate electorate.
… true freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.
He then quotes some brilliant lines from John Dewey,
The discipline that is identical with trained power is also identical with freedom… Genuine freedom, in short, is intellectual; it rests in the trained power of thought.
Are you a reader?
And if you are a reader, what kind of a reader are you?
Do you read books that lift and stretch you?
Do you read what people like Mortimer Adler would call The Great Books?
As I mentioned before, I stand convicted, guilty as charged but hopefully, this time, committed and determined to alleviate my ignorance as best I can by making a solid decision to do something about it.
They say misery loves company and perhaps guilt does as well.
Are the people you know, in your life, readers?
Your brothers, sisters, moms dads and cousins?
If we’re honest about our selves and others in response to these questions, it’s easy to see how much work is to be done.
Mr. Adler reminds us “Lack of exercise breeds flabbiness.”
Is it any wonder that our rights and liberties are being sucked out from under us – right beneath our closed collective eyes?
Compared to the brilliance of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the present era is much more like the dark ages of the sixth and seventh centuries.
Then the libraries had been burned or closed.
And How about the connection between the founders of our Republic and this topic.
The original – freedom fighters themselves.
The leaders of the 18th century which was a time of brilliant enlightenment that gave birth to the very freedoms we now take for granted.
The leaders of the movement, in this country and abroad, were liberally educated men, as no college graduate is today. The men who wrote and ratified the Constitution knew how to read and write.
… All you have to do is read the writings of John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, of Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, to know that they could read and write better than we or our leaders can today.
Nay, today –
…our fat & happy citizenry prefers to learn the facts about the founding fathers from the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity or Anderson Cooper.
The Simple Cure
Yesterday, I had another experience with my 8 year old that is particularly enlightening on this matter.
Kayden was complaining and throwing a bit of a tantrum that I’d asked him to read.
What to do?
How to illustrate?
Once upon a time there was a man named Ali Hafed.
Ali was a farmer with a loving family.
One day – a traveler showed up asking for lunch.
Ali obliged, and while eating, the man showed Ali a pouch with some glistening gems inside.
The man then told Ali that with a few of these precious gems, he could buy anything in the world he wanted.
Shortly thereafter, Ali left his farm and his family to search the world over for the precious gems.
After a fruitless, life-long search, Ali found himself looking out over the ocean from the perch of a rock.
Depressed, frustrated and defeated, he thew himself into the ocean.
His family sold his farm.
Then, one day years later, the new buyers were digging a hole.
Something shiny appeared.
Discovered, on the very farm that Ali had abandoned, was the largest diamond mine in the world.
Mortimer Ties Up The Thought
…men are ceasing to be free because they are no longer being educated in the arts of free men.
Do you see why I think there is DYNAMITE in reading,
not only enough to blow up the school system but enough to furnish the arsenal for the protection of our liberties?
The REAL Freedom Crusade
In my company – we strive to teach people to read.
We strive to encourage and inspire people to write.
We strive to challenge ourselves and others to think.
For the last 10 years I have been focused on these activities largely because they seem to compose, at least in part, the path to financial freedom.
I ask myself and you to consider something deeper.
Is it possible – that very life of our nation, and the very freedom of humanity as a whole – depends on our ability to persuade multitudes of people –
…to pick up the vital discipline of stretching one’s mind through the immortal,
life giving, freedom birthing ideas –
…contained in great books?
I’m proud to be a freedom crusader
… & I’m ready for the battles that are gonna be largely fought,
……………..inside the fortresses of our own minds.
Will you join me?
Thanks for stopping by and whatever you do, always go for your dreams,
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