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I'm reading A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille. This passage, on page 128, attributed to Alexander Tytler, really hit me:

"...the world's greatest civilizations...have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage."

I've been taking a close look at where my values lie over the last several months. I find that I'm further along this continuum than I'd like to be, and I'm working to create changes in my beliefs and actions to reflect that I want to be someone else. One of my favorite songs, by the band Sister Hazel, says "if you want to be somebody else, change your mind." That's what I'm doing.

What about you? Where do you fall? Are you so far gone in apathy that you don't care anymore? Would you like to live in a different reality than the one in which you find yourself? What can you do? I, me, I'm reading new information, such as this above-mentioned book. As a former career educator, it challenges several beliefs that I've held for half my life, and it stings when I recognize truth. You know how we all have a built-in crap detector? It works with truth, as well, and hearing truth is life-changing. When you hear it, you have to either go back to what you were doing and have that truth whispering "you know a better way" in the back of your head all the time, or you have to move into a new phase and act on that truth. It isn't comfortable, at all. It is, however, exhilarating, invigorating, stimulating, and exciting. Not to mention maddening. If you're like me, you want to be the new thing all at once. This simply isn't reality; it takes time for transformation. I'm learning, though, that transformation can be sped up by working toward it rather than waiting for it. I'm moving forward, and I invite you to walk with me.
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I woke up about an hour ago, went to the bathroom, and have been tossing ever since. Here in a few hours, It'll be back to work as usual; the vacation is over. It was actually a really good vacation, despite a few days which were a bit of a worry. The girls were here for a week, we had Christmas dinner five times, and I got the Nook eReader (which is Barnes and Noble's selected reader). I've read a 500-something-page novel, a 900-something-page novel, and I'm about halfway through another 350-page novel. It's like I've discovered reading all over again! Right now, I'm on a Greg Bear stint. I tend to read authors I've enjoyed before, and this guy has some incredible stuff. He's one of a select few who I can count on to always deliver. The only issue I've got with him is simply that he's way too smart. Sometimes I can sense the ideas he's trying to convey floating just over my head. That was only one book, though, so I suppose we'll call that a statistical outlier and just move on with enjoying his writing, eh? I recommend Darwin's Radio as a fine first read from Greg Bear. If you enjoy that, you'll want to follow it with Darwin's Children, of course.

More favorite authors:

David Brin for science fiction. Has a Ph.D. in astrophysics.
Harry Turtledove for alternate history. Has a Ph.D. in Byzantine History.
Arthur C. Clark. 2001: A Space Odyssey (need I say more?)
Alan Dean Foster (he's entertained me since I was twelve, and Flinx was someone I wanted to be)
Robert A. Heinlein. He's simply the master of the SF genre. Start with Methuselah's Children, if you dare.

I'm going to try to get another good hour and a half of sleep. I want to get in early and get the room as ready as possible for my little darlings when they walk in this morning.


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April 2015

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