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
- JET-POWERED ATTACK HELICOPTER PARENTS “The “jet-powered attack model” of the helicopter parent. These parents are obsessed with the desire to create a perfect life for their kids. This life is one in which the children never have to face struggles, inconveniences, discomforts, or disappointments. It is a life in which the children can be launched into adulthood with the best of credentials possible because they have never faced defeat, even if it meant someone else doing most of the work or making sure the rules were bent just the right way so they could win.
The adolescent children of jet-powered attack helicopter parents look great on paper. Their middle and high school transcripts show high grades, extracurricular activities and awards, and special honors — most of which were never really earned. These teens’ mistakes are swept under the carpet, and awards are earned with little or no effort on their part. We have often heard their parents say, “It’s a competitive world out there, and I want my kids to have every advantage. What they do when they are young should not hold them back later.
In their zeal to protect their young, these parents swoop down on any person, school, or agency that they see as a threat to their children’s impeccable credentials. Armed with verbal smart bombs, they are quick to blast away at anyone who sets high standards for behavior, morality, or achievement that may cause their children to take responsibility for themselves.
Declaring their child a victim is a favorite tactical maneuver designed to send school personnel or social workers diving into the trenches for protection. The constant barrage of attack helicopter parents wears down teachers and school administrators.
A perfect image and spotless school transcript are poor substitutes for character and the attitude that achievement comes through struggle and perseverance. The workforce of tomorrow — and to a great extent, many of those starting work today — are in for a rude awakening when they realize that “going to work” means just that, and that they won’t be able to call their parents in to chew their bosses out because their promotion went to someone more willing to put in the elbow grease and apply themselves to learning the skills needed to get the job done.” Excerpt From: Fay, Jim. “Parenting Teens with Love and Logic.”
- CULTURAL RENEWAL “Think back to the biblical account of Daniel. Life in Babylon gave the young Hebrew the platform and opportunity to influence the broadest circles of political and societal power. God used Daniel and his peers, exiles in a pagan culture, to bring about his purposes. Could it be that the growing desire for mainstream influence among the younger generation is the work of God—preparing them to bring restoration and renewal to our culture?
Let’s recognize that the Holy Spirit has plans for the next generation that are bigger than what they can dream for themselves, and let’s make it our business to tune their hearts to hear his voice, not just ours.”
Excerpt From: Kinnaman, David. “You Lost Me.”
- EXPONENTIAL GROWTH “By AD 100, the apostles had died, but the Christian church was still in its infancy, with fewer than twenty-five thousand proclaimed followers of Christ. But within the next two hundred years, the fledgling church experienced explosive multiplicative growth, to include as many as twenty million people. This means the church of Jesus Christ quadrupled every generation for five consecutive generations!”
Excerpt From: McDowell, Josh. “God-Breathed.”
- IMPORTANT “I hope my children know that winning isn’t everything. Not losing yourself to the world is vastly more important. When faith grows strong, it conflicts more and more with politics and polite society.” – E. Erickson
- INTERROGATION “A camera angle arranged to record the face of one discussant over the shoulder of another biases that critical judgment toward the more visually salient of the two. We also know now—from the more recent experiments of social psychologist Daniel Lassiter—that such a camera angle aimed at a suspect during an interrogation leads observers of the recording to assign the suspect greater responsibility for a confession (and greater guilt).
Perhaps most disturbingly, the identical pattern appeared whether the watchers were ordinary citizens, law enforcement personnel, or criminal court judges.
Nothing could change the camera angle’s prejudicial impact—except changing the camera angle itself. The bias disappeared when the recording showed the interrogation and confession from the side, so that the suspect and questioner were equally focal. In fact, it was possible to reverse the bias by showing observers a recording of the identical interaction with the camera trained over the suspect’s shoulder onto the interrogator’s face; then, compared with the side-view judgments, the interrogator was perceived to have coerced the confession.
Manifestly here, what’s focal seems causal.”
Excerpt From: Cialdini, Robert. “Pre-Suasion.”
- GOSPEL METHODS “A woman criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody replied, “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The woman replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.” Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- “It’s tough to soar with eagles when you work with turkeys.”Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- WORK OF YOUR HANDS “Jews recite a well known blessing after enjoying the food purchased with the work of their hands. The ancient words express gratitude to God for creating human beings with deficiencies and needs. That blessing reminds Jews that helping other people make up for their deficiencies by supplying their needs is how one makes an honorable living. When you receive payment after supplying the needs of a client, a customer, your boss, or, if you are a member of the clergy, even a congregant, that money is testament to your having pleased another human being.
It is perfectly kosher to ask God for money. If you are comfortable with prayer, go ahead and include a request for prosperity in your prayers. What you are really asking for is the opportunity to serve your fellow human beings.”
Excerpt From: Rabbi Daniel Lapin. “Thou Shall Prosper.”
- DON’T FORGET “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13-16 NIV
- LOVE YOUR WORK “If you are working 80 hours a week at a job which shrivels your soul, then you are a slave. I don’t care whether you are earning $600,000 a year or more. Life is precious. Each minute is a priceless gift. No amount of money can reclaim lost time. If you are wasting your time on work you detest, you may come to feel resentful about the time you are losing. If you are a physician, you may come to resent your patients. I have learned to recognize such physicians, and I try to steer my patients away from them.”
Excerpt From: Sax, Leonard. “The Collapse of Parenting.”
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