Sunday, October 18, 2009

Book: A Thomas Jefferson Education

I heard about this book a few years ago from my friend Clancy. I just finished it. I wish I had picked it up sooner. EVERYONE needs to read this book.

We are all concerned with our children's education. We see deficits in the public school system and no way to really fill in the gaps. We want the best for them but feel we don't really know what we can do. It feels as though it has been taken out of our hands. This book helped me see that it is my own education I should be concerned with. And this will inspire my children and any children over which I have influence to pursue a great education for themselves.

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
The world teaches that good grades equal intelligence, but they don't; that degrees are equal to education, but they aren't; that money and position are success, but they aren't.

Do not buy the facades the world offers. Only virtue is success. Only integrity is greatness. Your task is to become "men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspire greatness in other and move the cause of liberty," to live up to your mentors and the classics which helped make you who you are and will
help build the person you will become.
Statesmen are needed in our day, in our communities, homes, businesses, schools, churches, governments, relationships and associations.

In 1776 Thomas Jefferson declared the independence of all humankind, but in 1764 he was just a college student trying to mend a broken heart.

In 1780 George Washington almost single-handedly brought down the greatest military force on earth, but in 1764 he was just a farmer struggling to get out of debt.

In 1787 James Madison swayed the entire course of history, but in 1764 he was just a shy twelve-year-old.

It is the ordinary people in our day, just like those in 1764, who have greatness in them, if they decide to develop it.

I know it is hard to study the classics and find mentors. We are busy making a living or going to school, but if we are too busy to study the classics and apply the lessons they teach, then we are too busy to stay free, too busy to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Tomorrow's leaders will determine whether the flame of freedom and prosperity lit by American Founders two hundred years ago continues to burn brightly or is extinguished.
Why did I love this book? Because I truly believe that all of us were called to do something great! And, in order to do something great we must prepare ourselves. This book is a beginning. GET IT! READ IT!

I believe that when the time is right, some of you will be called upon to be statesmen of our day - whether you like it or not. And whether you are prepared or not.

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