It may have taken me years – but I am finally getting it. Books are important! I know, I’ve loved books for my entire life. I would often walk to the library several times a week to get new books while I was growing up, and one summer I kept track and read over a 100 books.
I’ve always enjoyed reading – but it has only been recently that I have finally learned to find important principles in books and apply them to my life – maybe it was the conveyor belt education where I taught to search for the answers to a long list of questions, or maybe it was just that I read books way to fast, just for pure enjoyment, and to find out what happens, instead of reading for deeper understanding, and maybe it is because I am reading as a Mom, and looking for ideas and concepts for my children to absorb through listening that I am noticing so many amazing ideas in books.
Now that I have begun to see principles in books it makes reading take a lot longer, because I am pausing to go – aha!, ooh, that is good, and wow, I want to write about that. So here goes . . .
I am reading “Me and My Little Brain” by John Fitzgerald to my boys. John and his Papa are having a discussion about Johns abilities:
“How do you know what you can do best?” I[John] asked.
“A great burning desire to become something is a good indication a person has the ability for it, “ Papa said. “A man who has this desire to become . . . almost always achieves his goal. And it is this gift of birth that divides people into all the vocation that are needed for mankind to survive. But there are some people who stifle this desire to be something they can be. They are motivated by admiration or envy to try to be something else. For example, J.D.[John], you were motivated by admiration for Alex Kramer to become a trader, although you lacked the ability to be a successful trader. As a result you failed.
. . .
Find your own identity and say to yourself, this is me, and I can’t be anybody but me. Know thyself and be thyself. That is the key to a happy and well-adjusted life.” (Me and My Little Brain, John Fitzgerald, pg 36)
Papa explains so well what I have been trying to teach my kids about the concept of “mission”. The philosophy of education that I subscribe to is called Thomas Jefferson Education (TJED), or Leadership Education. A very vital and key component of TJED is that everyone has a personal mission in life, and the purpose of their education is being prepared to fulfill that mission. Inherently, I know that this is taught in my religion as well, I’m just not sure how. The exciting thing is that as I’m coming to understand the principles contained in TJED I am seeing them pop up books, in movies, in my scriptures, in life. I know that they were there all along, I just didn’t know how to recognize them.
It might have taken my little brain a long time to catch on(+ or – a hundred years), but know I am becoming . . . , I am searching my my identity (you, not them), I am learning to be happy(secure, not stressed), and I am striving to mentor my children, to help them to discover and prepare for their mission.
I want them to be who they were born to be.
Like Papa says, I want them to “Know thyself and be thyself.”
For even those of us with “little brains” deserve to be happy.
Isaac is taking a Human Anatomy class at TEACH Co-op this semester. The story goes that during lunch he was walking around with his paper brain hat on, and someone said to him, “I didn’t know you had one of those.”