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Perseverance: why does it matter? Can perseverance be learned?

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People have focused on measuring cognitive skills such as intelligence.

However, others skills, beyond cognitive skills, contribute to human development and success.
A form of essential non-cognitive skills is perseverance / tenacity / grit.

"Never, ever, ever give up. Never give up. Never give up." ~ Winston Churchill, Battle of Britain.

Angela Lee Duckworth defines grit as "sticking with things over the very long term until you master them."
Her research results indicate that grit mattered more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

People who are not as bright as their peers "compensate by working harder and with more determination." Good friends of mine such as KS and SL seem to belong to this group of people.

Napoleon Hill listed perseverance / persistence as the 8th step toward Riches.
Perseverance is the sustained effort necessary to induce faith.
Perseverance is based on the power of will.

Death is a sad event for many people.
I remember how I still felt sad when my grandmother passed away, after living a long life worth celebrating instead of mourning.
Death of those who are too young to die, is even more saddening for their parents.
I remember the severe heartache I felt when I lost my first brother,
and have since promised myself with great perseverance that I will live much longer than my parents,
so that the white hair do not have to bid farewell to the black hair (this is an Eastern saying).
Ideally, it is the black hair who bid farewell / bury their parents / grandparents (those with white hair and have lived long lives).
The story of Adrian Misic’s mother, Parto Khorsidi of perseverancefoundation.wordpress.com indeed, reminded me on the sorrow of my mother. She wrote perseverance "means to go on when nothing makes sense, when the pain of living is much larger than the fear of death."

We need perseverance not only when things go wrong, but also when things go right, so that we can push ourselves to learn more as highlighted by Jill Gough and kate Burton.
How far could and should we push ourselves?

In our spiritual lives, we must also persevere in prayer, like the persevering widow told in Luke 18:1-8. Andrew Murray, a famous 19th Century South African write, once said "Of all the mysteries of the prayer world, the need for persevering prayer is one of the greatest."
If we are discouraged, pray.
If we have lost heart, pray.
If we don’t know the way forward, pray.

Remember that persevering prayer activates our frontal lobes and anterior cingulate gyrus, resulting in increased compassion, memory function (through neuroplasticity), and stress reduction.

Perseverance is essential to sustain our lives, our marriages, our families, our work, our spiritual quest.

Other inspiring posts:
http://painfighter.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/quote-of-the-day-perseverance/
http://classicbookreader.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/the-tenacity-of-the-human-spirit/

Written by blueroselady

November 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Learning preferences and strengths: sharing my method in 4 words

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Since we were born, we have started learning.
Learning and living are integral processes.

Different people have unique preferences and strengths in learning. The secret is to identify our own preferences and strengths,
and optimize them to develop our talents and creativity,
so that we can be of great service to others (while earning a livelihood simultaneously).

Here are quick reminders for myself to effectively, efficiently & effortlessly learn:

1. Intelligence = nature (genes) + nurture (environment). But, better methods / strategies for learning can boost up intelligence. In an analogy, before dyes and color contact lenses, hair color and eye color were entirely genetic too respectively.
2. Learn from how nature works, when one path gets shut down, we can take a different route.
3a. Must build construct / architecture / framework / blueprint. When we have a construct, we can solve difficult problems even when there is a lot of missing information.
3b. Must summarize / make notes.
4a. Must link concepts / ideas with visuals / feelings (synaesthesia).
4b. Try to link together ideas that do not normally connect (use metaphor / analogy). With patience & perseverance, we can connect any subjects.
5. Must use both: repetition / rote memorization + holistic relating / inter-linking.
6. Must create: write, draw, take photos, make videos.

In 4 words:

Summarize
Memorize
Link
Create

Final remark: I appreciate that my ability to understand things effortlessly is improving everyday.

See also:
http://zenhabits.net/how-to-learn-more-and-study-less/

Holistic Learning by Scott Young

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

Posted in study

Tagged with , , , , ,

Dear Dr Douglas Prasher, You are my Hero

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A friend of mine who is a scientist shared with me about Douglas Prasher’s story. When I was a little kid, I consider the following careers very cool / glamorous / glorious : pilot, adventurers (e.g. Columbus, Everest), scientists, astronauts, … and many others.

However, my friend said that being scientists is not all glorious, there is no guarantee that one can meet one’s basic survival needs (according to the Maslow’s hierarchy) of food, clothes, shelter / home, even after one has done high quality work that deserves Nobel Prize like what happened to Douglas Prasher.

In brief, the Nobel Prize I am referring to is for the discovery and engineering of fluorescent proteins – molecules that can glow in the dark. Sound so fun!

The fluorescent proteins are powerful research tools and have become the foundation of a multimillion-dollar industry.

Prasher was not included among the Nobel laureates, as only 3 individuals can share a single Nobel Prize. “The glow of the GFP gene may have illuminated biology, but Prasher has remained in the shadows.” The humble ^ Laureate Martin Chalfie credited Prasher’s contribution:
“(Douglas Prasher’s) work was critical and essential for the work we did in our lab. They could’ve easily given the prize to Douglas and the other two and left me out.”

^ To share the best of the best to you dearest readers, I have carefully studied Nobel Laureates and summarize their strengths that worth emulating.

My friend J, who is also a scientist and used to work 7 days a week from 9 am to 11 pm daily, shared with me that there are sadly numerous unacknowledged contributions in science. She told me that a lady called Rosalind Franklin also deserves a Nobel Prize but she died too early. J told me that she cried reading the story of Prasher.

To quote discovermagazine, the vanishing act of Douglas Prasher “provides a glimpse into what it takes to flourish in modern-day science, where mentorship, networking, and the ability to secure funding can be as important as talent and intelligence.”

Dear aspiring scientists (especially graduate students), I hope that my sharing provide you with additional perspective. One of a leader of a science research institute sadly told me (in a chance encounter in a public transport) that in the past only the rich can do scientific research because they do not have to trade their time to earn a living. These people were for example the landlord who receive passive income ; they have the time (one of the most priceless commodity in the universe), the brain energy & physical energy to carry out scientific experiments.

He also shared with me about his personal experience, he was previously trained as a medical doctor (a career that may guarantee a better earning), but later switched to become a scientist. Few years down the road after he has children, he woke up in the middle of night sweating and worrying on how to finance his mortgage. The good news is his children are now grown-up.

Dear aspiring scientists, your professors and successful scientists you meet would rarely tell you such stories because they need workers. Graduate students are very cheap to the extent that they are free to the professors. You will rarely meet unsuccessful scientists because they are no longer around in the labs / meetings / conferences to warn you / to be naysayers for you who will eventually become successful scientists. Do not give up on your chosen career easily. After all, scientists will meet countless failures (positive people prefer to refer a failure as a learning experience) because they are at the frontier of discovery and innovation. You really need perseverance in the pursuit of science, science needs you, our world need you ; but one must not neglect what is entrusted to him by the Universe / the Creator / God, e.g. young children to feed, nurture, take care.

Dear aspiring scientists, do not be disheartened by what I share here because if you are really passionate about science, you want and you should give it your best, until you really meet dead ends. You can be like Douglas Prasher, to be humble and willing to take other kinds of jobs, including being a bus driver at $8.50 an hour. I respect bus drivers, they provide essential service to many people, and I personally rely on them often. I view them as my everyday heroes who courier me safely from a place to another. But to be honest, one who had worked as a scientist must have to endure the words of their past colleagues on becoming a bus driver. If you master the art of endurance, are willing to work hard and have integrity in life, no matter what you do / your career / job, you will have inner happiness, which is much more important than prestige (e.g. awards) / glamor. If you want to be successful in a particular career, perseverance * and resourcefulness ^ are essential.

* “Doug doesn’t have the ‘Goddammit, you’re not going to stop me’ attitude,” Ward says.”
^ “It was the kind of resourcefulness that Prasher seemed to lack.”

After all, there are many things that Prasher can be happy and grateful about: his supportive wife, his children, his home-grown vegetables & finally a return to science.

Dear my readers, all careers are similar in the chance of success; they just vary in the steepness of the climb. My kind friend shared that the climbing field for being successful scientists started relatively easy for students who have done well academically / with exceptional scholastic ability, but become very very steep toward the higher place(s).

Final reflection:
Let the (use) value that we bring to ourselves and others through our work / pursuit / career / vocation shine itself.
Do not pursue recognition / award as a goal because it is beyond our control.
Even one of the most deserving Nobel Prize winner – Gandhi, never receive it.

Dear Dr Douglas Prasher, thank you very much! You are my Hero!

Related:
http://discovermagazine.com/2011/apr/30-how-bad-luck-networking-cost-prasher-nobel
http://galette86.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/the-inspiring-story-of-douglas-prasher/
http://www.bio.purdue.edu/lab/leung/blog/?tag=douglas-prasher

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The four aspects of wealth

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There are four aspects of wealth:
1. Intelligence / wisdom (智慧)
2. spiritual (心灵)
3. horizons (眼光)
4. materials (人财产)

I could not agree more.
Since a young kid, I always admire religious family, they seem to be happy even if they are not rich by the world standard. This is because they have God in their heart. God is a source of wealth and love. God is wealth and love.

Do not work for big companies forever, we must 创业.
Ignore those people who say that you have ambition (野心).

Thank you so much to my doctor for this advice.

March 2013:
While reading my old green notebook inherited from F,
I encounter a quote from Theodore Forstmann.
REAL WEALTH is not PHYSICAL.”
According to him, physical wealth can disappear;
government can take it away,
natural disasters can wipe it out,
criminals / terrorists can steal / rob / destroy it,
and so on.
METAPHYSICAL WEALTH cannot be taken away,
it is the driver for all of the growth
that takes place in the world.

Blueroselady thinks that
METAPHYSICAL WEALTH is the FOUNDATION for PHYSICAL WEALTH.
METAPHYSICAL WEALTH includes spiritual wealth, knowledge, wisdom, and horizon.

Written by blueroselady

March 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

How to discover our strengths?

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It is better to focus on developing our strengths than repairing our weakness. I have heard this piece of advice many times, from mentors TF to SL, who gave me his first book in winter 2012.

To find out about your strength, you can visit
1. http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu
Then, choose "Brief Strengths Test".
It has 24 questions.
I found that the questions somehow drove me to my self-perceived answers, perhaps real life example-kind of questions will be better.

Here are my strengths:
Love of Learning
Humility/Modesty
Prudence
Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]
Gratitude
Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]
Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]
Open-mindedness [judgment, critical thinking]
Bravery [valor]
Persistence [perseverance, industriousness]
Love
Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, "niceness"]
Self-regulation [self-control]
Creativity [originality, ingenuity]
Perspective [wisdom]
Integrity [authenticity, honesty]
Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]
Social Intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]
Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]
Forgiveness and mercy
Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]
Fairness
Leadership
Humor [playfulness]

2. Another test "VIA Survey of Character Strengths"
The test has 240 questions.
Some questions are repetitive.
I had a break halfway taking this test, to make delicious papaya milkshake.

For parents, "VIA Strength Survey for Children" is available.

Here are my results:

Your Top Strength
Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.

Your Second Strength
Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums – anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Your Third Strength
Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.

Your Fourth Strength
Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

Your Fifth Strength
Gratitude
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

Your Sixth Strength
Industry, diligence, and perseverance
You work hard to finish what you start. No matter the project, you "get it out the door" in timely fashion. You do not get distracted when you work, and you take satisfaction in completing tasks.

Your Seventh Strength
Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

3. A combination of strengths.
Though we may share some strengths, but we are likely to have different combinations of strengths, that make each of us unique. Let us strive to maximize our combination of strengths through synergy.

After thought:
Since we are growing / changing over time, our results may be different from time to time. It will be interesting to re-take the tests in n years down the road.

Related:
Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

My simple frugal lifestyle in autumn 2012

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In three and half more months, we will be saying good bye to 2012.

Life has been pretty simple for me lately.
I am enjoying my simple life now.
I am grateful for having God, loving family, caring friends, supportive mentors.

I am grateful for my job, where I can earn and learn; I am always learning and preparing myself for the future.

Towards the vision of achieving my financial independence and realizing my grand dream (I want to help many poor children in my chosen ways), I become more conscious about my spending, saving, and financial intelligence than ever. This of course has implications on my lifestyle: the many decisions I make daily.

I strive to kick start and end my everyday with prayers of gratitude and guidance.

I strive to eat more healthy home cooked food using higher quality ingredients (e.g. olive oil).
I try to minimize dining out (for meals above $10 / per person) to once or at most twice per week.

I will go for free food after talks.
Like the IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad who waits until the afternoon to buy his fruits and vegetables when the prices drop, we buy discounted bread after 9.30 pm for the next morning breakfast. For more inspiration, see the frugal millionaires.

I am increasing my financial intelligence by reading books borrowed from libraries / read at bookstores / e-books, and consulting my mentor K.

I am having good rests, especially in the weekend.

I appreciate the greenery near where I live: walking, breathing, thinking, nurturing relationship with my lover.
I prefer to watch (inspiring / romantic comedy) movies at home, I no longer need to spend on cinema tickets. If I have to watch in the cinema (e.g. for 3D movies), I will buy the cheaper weekday ticket than the weekend ticket.

I listen to music from radio / youtube (I no longer buy songs / CD).

I use public transport, gently fight for my seat with smiles, use my fist and mouth to protect my baby. I have no car now, but I am happy to have a car to support my future business.

I use delay rule when I want to shop for things above $50. Do I really need it? Can I be creative to use things that I already have?
I ask for samples and discounts, wait patiently for sales.

If possible, I minimize spending my free time in shopping malls to minimize temptation to shop for unnecessary things.
I shop with a shopping checklist.
I maximize the potential of my credit cards (to earn points) and always pay full outstanding amount to avoid the blood sucking 24% interest.

I am not going overseas in this autumn and coming winter (a huge saving on air tickets), yet I can do virtual travel at home, thanks to documentaries and travel books.

Since this summer, I have not shopped for any cloth, except for underwear.

Thankfully, my mother bought me some new clothes, my sister handed me few of her clothes (I do not mind second hand clothes).
However, I foresee that I have to shop for my baby, and it will be a happy bargain hunt.

I still donate a little amount for charity, I hope I can donate more as my income increases in the near future.
My life is simple and blessed.

Written by blueroselady

September 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

I am in love with slow life in Lijiang

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I am in my 20s and for the past many years I have been living a hectic city life.
I am highly competitive and committed to my undertakings.
Rush from a place to another, across countries and continents.
Fighting for projects, awards, rewards, admissions, and jobs is a daily endeavor.

In short, before I arrived in Lijiang and after I left her, I have lived a competitive, rushing, multi-tasking life. Do you also live in similar ways?

Lijiang allowed me to appreciate a different form of life: slow life.
Perhaps, it is due to my discovery of a book “slow life in Lijiang”.

Quoting my hero Gandhi, “there is more to life than increasing its speed.”
On a side note, for my 1-week stay in Lijiang, I saw only an Indian family. Perhaps, the language barrier is discouraging Indian tourists.

Why am I in love with Lijiang?
Perhaps, I visited Lijiang with a lover.
We held hands, kissed, and made love.
Perhaps, my artistic thirst was quenched by the beautiful and charming old towns, graceful willow leaves, little streams, shining cobble stoned, and red sexy lanterns.
To me, Lijiang is a re-discovered Venice in the East, for I love the Venice of Italy so and had been surviving on countless gelato, I love the delicious dishes of Lijiang (stir fried jasmine, wild vegetables that I may not eat again!).

The ladies in Lijiang
The Naxi hardworking women, I put my hat off to you.
I love the happening music of the garbage collecting little truck.
All the workers are women.
That is why Lijiang old town is relatively much cleaner than other parts of China.
My partner said I seem considering of applying for this job.
I kept on saying so fun to work with those music broadcasted from their little truck.

The ladies in Lijiang
The tourists in Lijiang:
Beautiful Chinese ladies in long colorful skirts and round hats
Carrying umbrella
I love taking pictures of them.
Who can resist beautiful things?

The children of Lijiang
Toddlers wrapped in thick clothes.
Your playground is so beautiful, yet you may not realize it.
It is the funny nature of human beings.
People cherish what they do not have or what they hardly get or what they have to fight to have.

The dogs of Lijiang: from small size to large ones.
Dogs with innocent looks
Dogs with hairstyle

The sound of Lijiang

I love the positive ending of this song.
The drum, the free feeling

The never-worry attitude of Lijiang
Time seems stop for you (when in fact time flies without you realizing it)
Let us enjoy life
Sitting at the courtyard
With swing, red lanterns, bougainvillea, a cup of tea – a private enclosure in the midst of crowded, ancient, beautiful old town
Chat with old and newly-made friends
A Shanghainese entrepreneur invited us to his inn; he bought the usage license (for 15 years).

The arhictecture of Lijiang
I love the roof.
I love the cobbled streets, shiny due to years and centuries of pedestrians walking on them.
I love the red lanterns, sweet and sexy against the cool grey roof.

Now, I only think about food and hugs from my beloved ones.
Dear said I am becoming like a bimbo on the 2nd Sunday of June 2012.
Sigh, it is time to enhance my intelligence.

Written by blueroselady

June 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Posted in travel

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Tips: finance for women

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BUDGET
Since the first day leaving away from my parents at the tender age of 14, I started budgeting. Recording my expenditure (to be in control so that they do not exceed my income). My income was money sent by my parents. As I made progress in my study, my income include money generously given by my benefactors, part-time work (though lowly paid hourly based salary, I still cherished it!), giving tuition to my juniors.

avoid DEBTS if possible.
Now I only have housing mortgage.
Please try your best to pay your credit card bills.
I only subscribe to credit cards that give annual fee waiver, therefore I do not keep many credit cards.
Be firm to reject the temptations that come with credit card applications.

EMERGENCY
Consider possibilities of emergency.
e.g. of emergency: illness (which troubles me in March 2012!), home repair, vehicle repair, parents health need.

buy a HOME.
I used to rent due to my nomadic life, but the $ I use for paying rent is better spent to pay for mortgage.
Our current home is not really our home, but at least we can sell it in the event of emergency.
Why is it not really our home?
1. It will only be under our name after we finish paying all the 30-years mortgage.
2. At the end of several decades, we have to return it (due to 99-year lease). We cannot give it to the next generation!
Thus, (1) I must not be too attached to our home. Being unattached is a way to raise our consciousness. (2) a dream is to buy a more permanent home.
Home LOCATION is important!
Is it safe (especially for women)?

INVEST in yourself, stocks, bluechips, trusted business partners.
Since the beginning of 2012, I have been actively investing in myself (my intelligence, consciousness, enterprise).
I share my tips to you all my Dear friends, as I want you also to benefit from my growth.
Go for an occasional indulgence.
I always plan for at least 1x trip to a new destination.

RETIREMENT seems so far for me.
Ladies, by all means, I encourage you to plan for your retirement.
If you have tips for me, I would be very happy to listen to 🙂

SAVE for emergency.
Blueroselady, you have to work hard for this!
With my current income, I do not have much to save, but I am trying to find ways to do so.
If you have any suggestion, I am more than happy to learn about it and will be forever grateful to you 🙂

avoid EMOTIONAL SPENDING.
Beware of EXPERIENCED SALESMEN/ SALESWOMEN who will show you a higher-priced item first (the anchoring / 1st thought trap).
Buy products based on their MERITS, instead of popularity.

Note: first written in March 2012.

Written by blueroselady

March 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

Posted in finance, lifestyle

Tagged with , , , , , ,

The Power of Enthusiasm

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The difference in actual skill, ability and intelligence between those who succeed and those who fail is usually neither wide nor striking. But if people are equally matched, the one with enthusiasm will have the scales tipped in his or her favor. The best way to get someone excited about an idea or a project is to be excited yourself and to show it.

Loudness does not constitute enthusiasm, nor does pounding the table, or jumping up and down. It is fake, it does not fool anyone. Enthusiasm is an intrinsic feeling, a feeling that has to come from inside our soul. It is not to be confused with boisterous (热闹) hype. It is true increased physical movement and stronger voice projection sometimes accompany an inner feeling of enthusiasm.

We cannot fake enthusiasm, but YES we can create, nourish enthusiasm and put it to work for us. The way to acquire enthusiasm is to BELIEVE what we are doing and BELIEVE IN OURSELVES, and to WANT TO GET SOMETHING DEFINITELY ACCOMPLISHED.

Enthusiasm is easiest to attain when we have REAL GOALS in our life, things we are genuinely looking forward to. Let that happen and enthusiasm will grow inside us. Wake up and think about something pleasing that will happen today. To achieve real success, we have to be excited by our life and our work.

If a person is feeling bored with life, the people around will be falling asleep as well.
If a person is sarcastic and antagonistic, they will be too.
If a person is lukeworm, they will never boil.

Enthusiasm is made of two parts: (1) PASSION, (2) CONFIDENCE.

Always surround ourselves with successful happy people. Those people’s attributes will become a part of us.

Enthusiasm is as important as high ability and hard work.
We all know people who are brilliant and accomplish nothing,
we all know people who work hard and get no where.
People who can work hard and be enthusiastic, they are going places!

Thanks to Global Humanitas

Written by blueroselady

August 20, 2010 at 1:00 am

Editing our own life

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Editing Your Own Life by Ron Rolheiser

2010-08-15

The laws of mathematics and physics have forever been one of our great constants. They are predictable and reliable, not given to strange surprises. But now, more and more, scientists are finding that even the laws of physics sometimes offer unexpected surprises and exhibit a freedom that leaves us baffled. Freedom, it seems, is everywhere.

Novelists have always known this. A novelist creates an imaginary character, begins to write a story, and then discovers that this character doesn’t always want to follow what the author had in mind for her. She becomes her own person, develops her own attitude, goes her own way, and shapes the story in a way that the novelist never intended. In the end, partly independent of the author, each character writes his or her own story.

In a new book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller takes this concept and uses it to offer a wonderful challenge within which each of us is invited to edit our own life so as to make our story a BETTER and MORE NOBLE one.

He does this through a series of autobiographical essays within which he challenges himself to write a better story with his own life and then invites his readers to each edit our own lives so as to build a story which is more interesting and more noble, one which, like a great movie, will leave its audience in tears and longing to do better things with their lives when the final credits roll.

Here’s how he describes this: “So I was writing my novel, and as my characters did what they wanted, I became more and more aware that somebody was writing me. So I started listening to the Voice, or rather, I started calling it the Voice and admitting there was a Writer. I admitted that something other than me was showing me a better way. And when I did this, I realized the Voice, the Writer, who was not me, was trying to make a better story, a more meaningful series of experiences I could live through.”

His writing is brilliant but deceptive. Because of his particular genre, he can seem almost superficial at times, but, in the end, what you get is a combination of David Sedaris (wit, playful self-effacement), Annie Lamott (earthy, disarmingly direct), Kathleen Norris (outstanding common sense, intelligence), Henri Nouwen (an honest look at yourself) and Ignatius of Loyola (good rules for discernment and a bit of a guide to everything). Donald Miller runs all of this through a blender.

Initially, as I read the first chapters, I was taken only by his language and not by his content. He sounded more the comic wit than the wise elder. But slowly, almost imperceptibly, and this is his genius, depth, idealism, Christian vision, disarming common sense, and his real challenge begin to seep through, becoming clearer and more inviting as his story goes on.

Here’s an example of both his writing and his depth. In this a passage he shares how he discerns the real voice of God from the many false, neurotic voices that he, and most everyone else, commonly can confuse with God’s voice:

“As a kid, the only sense I got from God was guilt, something I dismissed as a hypersensitive conscience I got from being raised in a church with a controlling pastor. But that isn’t the voice I’m talking about. … The real Voice is stiller and smaller and seems to know, without confusion, the difference between right and wrong and the subtle delineation between the beautiful and the profane. It’s not an agitated Voice, but ever patient as though it approves a million false starts. The Voice I am talking about is a deep water of calming wisdom that says: Hold your tongue; don’t talk about that person that way; forgive the friend you haven’t talked to; don’t look at that woman as a possession; I want to show you the sunset; look and see how short life is and how your troubles are not worth worrying about; buy that bottle of wine and call your friend and see if he can get together, because, remember, he was supposed to have that conversation with his daughter, and you should ask him about it.”

And that Voice, he says, is forever saying to us: “Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create it even as I have created you.”

In the end, this book is a healthy apologetic for faith, morality, decency, and God, the kind of challenge we badly need today. I was given the book by friend who has a twenty-something daughter who has long protested her doubts about God and, not least, her agnosticism about the church. This young post-Christian, my friend said, found the book on the kitchen table, picked it up out of curiosity, and then read it cover to cover, admitting that she was much challenged by it.

Now that’s not a bad endorsement!

Written by blueroselady

August 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Posted in God

Tagged with , ,