I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. (Nelson Mandela)
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. (Winston Churchill)
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. (Aristotle)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. (Mark Twain)
The first book that changed my life forever, wasn’t an inspirational or motivational book. The author is not a guru of any type. The first book that changed my life forever, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.
I have dyslexia and the school I was attending used phonics to teach us to read. I have nothing against phonics, but it is a horrible way to teach a child with dyslexia. However, that information was not known at the time.
I also have a hearing disability that made it impossible for me to differentiate some of the vowel sounds.
What a combination? It’s no wonder I struggled learning to read and lost the desire to even try.
I was in forth grade and the teacher decided to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the class. Each day, she would read a couple of chapters. I would close my eyes and picture the story in my mind. It was my favorite part of the day.
When she finished reading the book, I felt lost. I wanted to know more about Peter and his brother. I went to the library and eventually read all the books they had by Judy Blume. After I ran out of Judy Blume books, I started to read books by Beverly Cleary. Next I was ready about Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew.
It was a struggle at first, but the more time I spent reading the better I got. I didn’t know it at the time, but the most effective way to teach someone with my set of disabilities to read was through a method of repetitive sight reading. Since I fell in love with stories, that is exactly what I was doing.
It was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that motivated me to develop my reading skills and gave me a love for books. It changed my life forever.
Which words would you use to describe your writing?
I agree with the author’s premise. There are many situations we cannot change in our life. However, our attitude has a huge impact on our emotions and how we deal with those uncontrollable events.
The book contains numerous examples of people who are satisfied with their life situations, even though they are suffering from grief, life threatening illnesses, and other tragic events. Their stories demonstrated practical applications for each of the lessons taught in this book.
We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change our life by living out the following attitudes: gratitude, confidence, perseverance, open-mindedness, faith, commitment, hope, compassion, determination, humility, joy, trust, and ownership.
This is my favorite hymn, because it speaks to my heart on a very deep level.
Natalie Haynes is the author of, “The Ancient Guide to Modern Life.” In the book, she talks about ancient philosophy, modern philosophy, their similarities, and how we can apply those ideas to our own lives.
In the section covering politics, Natalie Haynes said:
“Why stand outside something with a placard when you could be changing it from within? The Athenians should inspire us to become school governors, patient representatives, local councillors, and members of Parliament. They should persuade us to stop shrugging and sighing when we could instead be improving our lot.”
I am guilty of complaining about social problems and then doing nothing to improve the situation. How can I expect others to fix something, when I am not willing to do any of the work?
I know I can do better. I know I can help change things. It is time to stop sitting around and complaining about everything. It is time to get up and get to work.