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The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon

1031. THE ACORN “Consider an acorn. Its strong shell prevents it from growing until the time is right. If you break open the shell too early, you don’t stimulate the growth of a new tree. You just have a dead acorn. As with the acorn, the key to healthy child development is to do the right thing at the right time. Neufeld makes a strong case that the wrong attachment style in childhood and adolescence results in the wrong attachment style in early adulthood. Throughout childhood and adolescence, the primary attachment of a child should be to the parent. If a child has a strong primary attachment to a parent from infancy through adolescence, then when the child becomes an adult, that bond will break naturally, as an acorn breaks open naturally at the right time so that a new tree can grow. Such a child, once she becomes an adult, is ready to head out confidently into the world as an independent young adult. But increasingly, Neufeld and others have found, young people across North America just are not ready to step into the adult world. The same girl who refused to talk with her mom at 13 years of age 13 years of age is now texting her mom 5 times a day at age 22, asking for basic guidance about adolescent concerns. The acorn, having broken open too early, does not have the strength to become a tree.

Parents have to regain the central place in the lives of their children, displacing same-age peers. Same-age friends are great for your child. But your child’s first allegiance must be to you, not to her best friend. The contemporary culture of texting, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and online video games has concealed this fundamental reality, promoting and accelerating the premature transfer of allegiance to same-age peers.”

Excerpt From: Sax, Leonard. “The Collapse of Parenting.”

1032. COMPETITION “People reflexively assume that competition is always a good thing, that it always brings out the best in people, but that’s only true of people who can forget the competition. The art of competing, I’d learned from track, was the art of forgetting. You must forget your limits. You must forget your doubts, your pain, your past. You must forget that internal voice screaming, begging, “Not one more step!” And when it’s not possible to forget it, you must negotiate with it. I thought over all the races in which my mind wanted one thing, and my body wanted another, those laps in which I’d had to tell my body, “Yes, you raise some excellent points, but let’s keep going anyway . . .”

Excerpt From: Knight, Phil. “Shoe Dog.”

1033. HEAVENLY FATHER “A widely accepted figure is that 70 percent of the violent criminals in American prisons did not grow up with a father.

If the father figure/rule giver that boys need is not on earth, a loving and morally authoritative Father in heaven can often serve as an effective substitute.

But the last thing that a boy growing up without a father needs is a female figure to worship. He already has one—his mother—and to develop healthfully, he needs to separate from her, not bond with another mother figure. Otherwise, he will spend his life expressing his masculinity in ways that are destructive to women and men.

It is ironic that some women, in the name of feminism, are attempting to emasculate the God of Western religious morality. For if their goal is achieved, it is women who will suffer most from lawless males.

We have too many absent fathers on earth to begin to even entertain the thought of having no Father in heaven.”

Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”

1034. WORK & PRAY “When we work; we work. When we pray, God works.” — Max Lucado

1035. BIG DATA “If data fostered better emotional decisions, then accountants, not poets, would be the cultural prototype for great lovers.”

Excerpt from “Small Data.”

1036. TO THE END; FRIENDS, PATRIOTS “President Thomas Jefferson spent his retirement at his beloved home in Monticello, where both his wife and daughter Polly were buried. With his health declining, he was bedridden in the late spring and early summer of 1826. Seized by a severe fever on July 3, Jefferson realized that his death was imminent but was determined to hold on until the following day—the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. With his family gathered around, he prepared for the end. Later that night, Jefferson awoke and asked his doctor, “Is it the fourth yet?” They were among his final words.

The following day, Jefferson died in his sleep at 1:10 p.m. Five hours later and nearly six hundred miles away, at 6:20 p.m. at Braintree Farm, Massachusetts, President John Adams also breathed his last. Adams, noting the significance of the date, remarked, “It is a great day. It is a good day.” Unaware of Jefferson’s passing, Adams’s final words were “Jefferson still lives.” The two men, longtime friends and rivals, passed from life within hours of each other on the 50th birthday of the country to whose service they had dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Not only did they see America through her tumultuous infancy, but also nurtured her growth into a respected global presence to carry her into the future.”

Excerpt From: Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger. “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.”

1037. ART, NOT SCIENCE “A university alumnus, shown a list of examination questions by his old economics professor, exclaimed, “Why, those are the same questions you asked when I was in school twenty years ago!” “Yes,” said the professor, “we ask the same questions every year.” The alumnus said, “But surely you know that students pass along the questions from one year to the next.” “Of course,” said the professor, “but in economics, we change the answers.

Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”


“In 1890, a survey asked what are your basic needs?

The list had 16 items on it.

In 1990, the same survey was conducted.

That list had 98 items of it.” — R. Rainey

1039. COME ALIVE “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself, ‘What makes me come alive?’ Because what the world needs is men who have come alive.” -John Eldridge

1040. FAIL U “With striking parallels to the housing bubble of the last decade, the cost of a college degree has soared by 1,125 percent since 1978—four times the rate of inflation.

For some families, sending a child to a private university now is like buying a BMW every year—and driving it off a cliff. If the education is financed through student loans, paying for college is like buying a Lamborghini on credit. By 2012, the total cost of a four-year education at a private college had exploded to $267,308; the cost of public college had risen to $122,638.

The average student now graduates with around $30,000 in student loans, while the portion of students with $100,000 or more has doubled. Millions of students carry debt burdens without getting any degree at all. Student loan debt now exceeds both the nation’s total credit card and auto loan debt. The delinquency rate on student loans is higher than the delinquency rate on credit cards, auto loans, and home mortgages.

While the average student debt load rose 24 percent in the last decade, average wages for graduates aged twenty-five to thirty-four fell by 15 percent. In 2011, 53 percent of college graduates under twenty-five were unemployed or underemployed.

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that in 2012 roughly 44 percent of recent college graduates were working in jobs that did not require degrees—the majority of them in low-wage jobs.”

Excerpt From: Charles J. Sykes. “Fail U”



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