Some thought-provoking snippets from my recent reading:
"Heather didn't tell me that her dad took her to church a lot (although I knew that they did attend a local Methodist church regularly) or that he made her go to Bible study or a youth group. She watched him sit in his chair [and pray]. that was it. That was all she needed to see to be changed. And he did change her life. He was real and so was his faith. He was quiet, humble, and pursued God. That was all it took to stir something in Heather to want to do the same. Can you begin to see the power you fathers have in your daughters' lives?"
--Meg Meeker, M.D., Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (p. 192)
"Austin's situation suggests just how the limitations of the bubble in which teens live contribute to this crisis. We place kids like him in schools together with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of other kids typically from similar economic and cultural backgrounds. We group them all within a year or so of one another in age. We equip them with similar gadgets, expose them to the same TV shows, lessons, and sports. We ask them all to take almost the exact same courses and do the exact same work and be graded relative to one another. We give them only a handful of ways in which they can meaningfully demonstrate their competencies. And then we're surprised that they have some difficulty establishing a sense of their own individuality. "Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else," the bumper sticker proclaims, and its irony isn't lost on teens like Austin."
Joseph Allen, Ph.D. and Claudia Worrell Allen, Ph.D., Escaping the Endless Adolescence: How We Can Help Our Teenagers Grow Up Before They Grow Old (p.51)
"He was willing to suffer the pain of them invisibly, but please, please take away these external marks which would make him stand out, be different from the rest. For once, it seemed this was a prayer his Lord would not grant."
Jim Gallagher, Padre Pio: The Pierced Priest (p.2)
Here is an illustration of why self-knowledge is so important for growth in virtue, as the saints often remind us. Without self-knowledge, our behavior may be merely reactive, simply following our natural inclination. But when we get in the habit of self-reflection, we may realize that our natural inclination may be neither prudent nor charitable. We need to consciously choose the good; virtue is not virtuous if we have no option to do otherwise.
Art and Laraine Bennett, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse (p. 118)
"Now a nasty suspicion began to grow in his mind--had the dwarves forgotten this important point too, or were they laughing in their sleeves at him all the time? That is the effect that dragon-talk has on the inexperienced. Bilbo of course ought to have been on his guard; but Smaug had rather an overwhelming personality."
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (p.236)
"Sometimes misunderstood, Charlotte Mason's practice of 'masterly inactivity' and her restrictions on 'teacher talk' did not mean that the students were to control the classroom. Masterly inactivity implies that there is a master--the teacher."
Bobby Scott, "Education is an Atmosphere," in When Children Love to Learn, ed. Elaine Cooper (p. 80)
"I found that women are evenly divided on this issue [of clutter]. Either they will defend their right to accumulate and store things or they will absolutely declare war on 'stuff.' Depending on my mood, I agreed with one side's philosophy as often as the other's. I was worried that the anticlutter attitude was too rigid and controlling. But when I began to evaluate my own feelings toward my house, I recognized that clutter bothered me even more than dirt."
Elizabeth Foss, Real Learning (p. 188)
What are your Quick Takes?